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Mom's Diner and Pop's Roadside Eatery have closed; Owners hope to focus on Tailgator's Sports Cafe and may repurpose the space in the future

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Mom's Diner owners announced Sunday, Feb. 16, that they have closed the restaurant located at 1322 Main Ave. Tailgator's Sports Cafe will remain open. David Samson / The Forum
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FARGO — Area residents familiar with the Cheese Frenchie were mourning the news Monday, Feb. 17, that Mom's Diner had closed at 1322 Main Ave. in Fargo.

The deep-fried cheese sandwich had been a popular menu item since the restaurant first opened as a King's Food Host U.S.A. in 1965.

The owners announced the closure in a Facebook post Sunday, Feb. 16.

"We are sad to inform all of our customers Moms Diner has closed today and will not reopen for business tomorrow. We would like to thank all of (our) loyal customers for their business these last couple years. It's been a pleasure serving everyone.. Hopefully we can repurpose the space and serve you in the future," the post read.

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The post had garnered nearly 100 comments and 193 shares by Monday morning, many from customers mourning the loss of a menu item or sharing stories about visiting the restaurant with family and friends over the years.

Doug Deminck and Dave Geske purchased Mom's Diner, Pop's Roadside Eatery and Tailgator's Sports Cafe in 2018 from Rick Nymark, whose family had owned the business for decades.

Mom's Kitchen

Thomas and Terry Drayton of Orchard, Neb., first opened the restaurant in 1965 as King's Food Host U.S.A. They eventually opened a second King's Food Host U.S.A. in the metro area near the Holiday Mall in Moorhead. That location was purchased by the Palmer and Phyllis Nymark family in 1968.

The Draytons retained ownership of the Fargo restaurant for a few more years, eventually renaming it The Royal Table.

According to Forum archives, the restaurant began doing business as Mom's Kitchen in 1983. Named after Phyllis, the restaurant was a family affair, also employing her children Roger, Sue and Rick at one time.

It was Rick Nymark who approached Doug Deminck about purchasing the business a few years ago.

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Deminck previously owned and operated the Nestor at 1001 NP Ave. N. in Fargo. He closed the business in 2017 after the land on which it sat was purchased by The Kilbourne Group.
In 2018, he sold the Nestor's liquor license to Nymark, who then sold it and the business back to Deminck and Geske.

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In response to questions, the business partners released the following statement late Monday:

"The Moms Diner and Pops Roadside Eatery type of restaurant was just not viable at this location anymore. So we have made the difficult decision to close that side of our business. This will give us the opportunity to focus on Tailgators Sports Cafe. Which is our Sports Bar with full menu that is located in the same building.

"We will be moving some of the Moms menu items onto the Tailgators menu, like our famous Cheese Frenchie and our Hot Beef sandwiches and a limited breakfast on the weekends. We are looking at many different options on how we can re-purpose the Moms Diner space, but nothing has been decided.

"Even though we had to close Moms & Pops we have been truly blessed with our dedicated employees and our loyal customers. It was our pleasure to serve you these last few years. We are more than grateful," the statement read.

Angie Wieck is the business editor for The Forum. Email her at awieck@forumcomm.com
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