Junkyard Brewing looking to open West Fargo location

City is offering the Moorhead-based craft brewery a package of property tax breaks and economic development funds that approaches $700,000.

Junkyard Brewing is considering opening a taproom in the former Bell Bank building in the Downtown Yards area of West Fargo, city officials confirmed. The building at 409 Sheyenne St. is pictured Friday, Jan. 3, 2023.
Helmut Schmidt / The Forum

WEST FARGO — A Fargo-Moorbead area favorite craft brewer, Junkyard Brewing Company , is laying the groundwork for opening another outlet, this time in West Fargo.

Junkyard wants to put a new taproom in the former Bell Bank building at 409 Sheyenne St. and applied for city aid for the project, city records show.

West Fargo officials have brewed up an incentives package that if fully used would add up to nearly $700,000, about a third of which would be in property tax breaks and the remainder in economic development reimbursement grants, according to Casey Sanders-Berglund, the city’s economic development manager.

That proposal is currently scheduled to be heard by the City Commission at its Feb 21 meeting at City Hall.

“They’re a longstanding business. They’re basically a turnkey customer business,” Sanders-Berglund said. “It’s really focusing on the fact that we’re trying to grow our downtown. This is a functional infill.”


A Junkyard Brewing spokesman said Friday that the business has no comment on the proposal at this time.

That package as currently structured includes:

A $249,470 payment-in-lieu-of-taxes property tax break would be paid out in equal yearly increments over five years. Junkyard would be required to pay $100 a year toward property taxes, Sanders-Berglund said Friday, Feb. 3.

The craft brewing firm could also tap into up to $442,692 in economic development funds from the city, which would be used to rehabilitate and improve the former bank building, which Sanders-Berglund said was built in the late 1970s.

Junkyard Brewing Co. is a popular meeting spot in north Moorhead. Dave Olson/The Forum

That dollar amount isn’t “set in stone,” Sanders-Berglund said. “It’s an up-to dollar amount” which can be tapped as Junkyard submits receipts for work completed.

The funds for the agreement will come from the city’s half-cent economic development sales tax, she said.

In return, Junkyard Brewing would have to agree to stay in that location for 10 years, according to the minutes of the Jan. 6 meeting of the city’s Economic Development Advisory Committee.

The property has been vacant for about three years.


“It’s a property that’s been downtown since, I believe … 1979 or something like that. We’d really like to keep it as a functioning property and use what’s there,” Sanders-Berglund said. “We feel that we need to get a business there that’s going to help be an anchor to help support the current businesses, but also those that are currently looking to potentially come.”

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If Junkyard follows through and opens a taproom, it would be the craft brewer’s first physical location in North Dakota. According to city documents, the business expects to employ 30 hourly workers, with one or two salaries positions.

The overall cost of renovating the former bank building is projected to be about $1.1 million, not including construction of a patio area, a report by city staff says.

Junkyard has also applied for a West Fargo liquor license, a city communications specialist confirmed.

A legal notice by the city says competitors can either submit written comments about the application by email to, or present them at the hearing.

West Fargo’s Downtown Yards district is starting to attract more interest, Sanders-Berglund said.

“Let’s say Junkyard does pursue this and decide to move forward, I think that they could really be an anchor or a catalyst in our downtown mixed use area,” she said. “It’s always exciting when a thriving business is very interested in your city and thinks that it could be a potential fit.”

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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