Downtown Fargo VFW opens restaurant, although work remains
New seating, bar to be added along Broadway entrance
FARGO — Downtown Fargo visitors have a new restaurant option as the VFW Club Post 762 has taken another step in its major renovation project at its longtime location.
Its kitchen and restaurant have opened offering a wide variety of sandwiches, baskets and appetizers daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with a steak night every Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The UpFront Bar & Grill isn't quite complete yet, as a sprinkling system has to be added in the new seating area in the front part of the building overlooking one of Fargo's most popular streets and the new Broadway Square plaza across the road.
Work being done by mostly all volunteers is also continuing on constructing the club's second bar to go along with the new restaurant seating in what was the former home of the popular Italian restaurant Toscana at 202 Broadway.
Manager Steve Langstaff said the plan is to open the new Broadway entrance to the club with its huge windows next month, attracting more customers off the busy street.
In the meantime, he said the food option at the club has been "going well."
"I think when we get it all done we're going to do really well," he said.
For now, expanded seating and space in the older bar area of the club gives people a place to eat until the rest of the restaurant is complete.
The enlarged bar area also includes a new stage for performers, and a dance floor. Weekend bands have returned to the club after an absence of almost a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Work on the expanded bar area and on the UpFront restaurant, kitchen and second bar project has been worked on by many VFW and VFW Auxiliary volunteers over the past months. Langstaff is currently building the second bar.
The club's renovation has also included a newly remodeled lower level events center, completed last year.
In the large party room or upgraded events center, it was also a team of volunteers doing the work led by Russ Richards, the executive director of the Fargo-based nonprofit Rebuilding Together.
Richards said in an interview last year that his team of volunteers, and businesses who donated supplies, wanted to "give back" to area veterans. They saved the club thousands in remodeling costs — probably as high as $40,000 — for the lower-level work, he said.
Langstaff said the expanding club has also meant adding employees going from five last October to 17 currently, including three fulltime cooks and more bartenders.