FARGO-A new specialty store and eatery is now open in south Fargo after a months-long process to get a liquor license.
Reese & Riley's Olive Oil & Bistro Bar, 2653 45th St. S., opened for business Nov. 7, according to posts on its Facebook page. The bistro offers salads, shareable plates, flatbreads, paninis, risotto, homemade pasta, beer and wine, while its retail store sells olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh bakery items.
People's Organic Cafe opened in that building in March 2014. Shortly after it closed in the fall of 2016, the same owners opened Perla's Fresh Mexican there, which closed in the spring of 2017.
Reese & Riley's is operated by different owners, Christine Deibel and Jason Halverson, according to public records. Debiel previously owned Thomas Reese Olive Oil Co. in Champlin, Minn., as well as a Blaine, Minn., eatery called Ella's Diner.
Deibel first applied for a liquor license in July, but Fargo Liquor Control commissioners ultimately denied that request over concerns about Deibel's 2012 bankruptcy. Commissioners also worried about pending litigation into a felony theft case related to a vehicle she previously reported stolen.
A second application was denied in August because a new male applicant, Matthew Berreth, had domestic violence and simple assault charges on his record within the past nine months, as well as a criminal trespass charge in 2012.
Meeting minutes show the third request for a liquor license was successful after adding Halverson to the application. At that Oct. 18 meeting, Halverson explained he had originally intended to be an investor only, but now planned to have an active role in the business. Commissioners unanimously voted to approve the license.
Several requests to interview the owners or arrange an interview at the restaurant were unsuccessful.