King Leo’s burger restaurant roaring back into Fargo
Fargo - The king returns. King Leo, that is. Some in the region will recall the King Leo's chain of restaurants that began with a burger and fries joint in 1960 at 1833 S. University Drive in Fargo, at a time when fast-food names like McDonald's ...
Fargo - The king returns.
King Leo, that is.
Some in the region will recall the King Leo’s chain of restaurants that began with a burger and fries joint in 1960 at 1833 S. University Drive in Fargo, at a time when fast-food names like McDonald’s were still a rarity in the Midwest.
The King Leo’s chain, which included stores in Grand Forks and Minot, disappeared in 1978 with the closing of the Fargo location.
But Tom Poole and Doug Gillam never forgot the brand, and today the business partners are draping King Leo’s name and graphics onto a restaurant going up at 1443 42nd St. S., where another eatery, Valentino’s, once stood.
Poole, who like Gillam is a graduate of Fargo’s long-gone Central High School, said King Leo’s still has its loyalists, based on public reaction to word the restaurant is coming back.
“I’m getting calls from people who had their first date at King Leo’s. It’s just very amazing the response I’m getting,” said Poole, whose other business interests include the Avalon Events Center in downtown Fargo and the soon-to-open Avalon Events Center West, which will be in what used to be The Hub entertainment complex.
Poole said the new restaurant, like the original King Leo’s, will have a simple menu.
“Doug and I decided we’re going to put up a double drive-thru and offer steak burgers, French fries, and thick and smooth shakes. We’re also going to have indoor seating.”
Poole said he can remember eating at the original King Leo’s when burgers cost a dime and fries were 15 cents.
“You could go and eat for a quarter,” Poole said. They are already planning a second King Leo’s, probably in the area of North Dakota State University, though he said construction on that restaurant won’t start before 2016.
In the meantime, they’re looking to open the King Leo’s on 42nd Street sometime in May.
Before that happens, Poole said they intend to hold a VIP party for former King Leo’s employees.
Poole said he welcomes calls or emails regarding King Leo’s and can be reached by phone at (701) 368-9540 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .