Nova Eatery brings a tasty food truck vibe to Fargo Brewing Company
The latest offering in the metro area's restaurant scene has begun its soft opening. "It's a long time coming," Executive Chef Ryan Nitschke says.
FARGO - The lights are on at Nova Eatery.
The newest outlet on Fargo’s food scene, a restaurant addition to Fargo Brewing Company mix of options at 610 University Drive N., has started its soft opening.
Executive Chef Ryan Nitschke and his sous chef were whipping up dishes over the noon hour Wednesday, Sept. 28, for the permanently located “food truck” concept restaurant.
Nischke was “really excited,” to start pushing food out of the barn-door-style order window.
On Day 2 of the soft opening, business was good.
“We’ll see if the word spreads,” he said. “It’s a long time coming. It’s been two years in the making.”
The pandemic and attendant supply chain issues helped slow the build-out and fit-up of the converted shipping container that houses the kitchen and customer service area of Nova Eatery, but the materials “all showed up when we needed it. It all worked out," Nischke said.
Berglund said the restaurant is serving about half of its menu at this time, but the reaction has been good.
"We've only heard good reviews so far," she said Thursday, Sept. 29. "We're still working on a few things, but we're just happy to get open. It's been a long road but we're just excited to get in there."
Berglund said the converted shipping container has turned out to be the biggest kitchen among the partners' restaurants. It's already been tested with some private events, and for the groom's dinner for Josh Duhamel, in advance of his recent Fargo wedding to Audra Mari.
Nova Eatery’s hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. It will also be open for parking lot events. More hours will be added as more employees are hired and trained, Nitschke said.
The lunch hour meals ran from about $6 to $13 Wednesday, and portions are large and satisfying.
Kord Nolte enjoyed a burger, fries and a beer over his lunch hour Wednesday.
“I had not planned on eating here today, but I was getting a haircut,” and saw the eatery open, the Fargo man said.
His burger was big and juicy, and the barbecue fries “were really good,” with a side of house-made ranch dressing, Nolte said.
“It’s fun that new places are popping up,” Nolte said.
Nova Eatery complements Fargo Brewing's taproom and outdoor patio area, The Hall (a concert and events venue with its own bar), the Nice Barber Company barber shop, and a rentable meeting area called The Lounge.
Concert promoter and entrepreneur Jade Nielsen, one of the owners of Fargo Brewing, said Thursday that there is still a kiosk to be leased out, perhaps to a coffee or tea business - really anyone who can bring "some excitement to the space.”
“We're one step closer to having that whole vision of that whole space really kind of buzzing with activity. It’s really exciting for us, long-time coming, obviously, since we’ve been talking about this for well over a year," Nielsen said. "But everybody is very happy to see them open and operating and putting out great dishes."
Nielsen is also a fan of Nova Eatery's food.
"(The) food is fantastic. And so far the first two days they’ve been opened to the public they’ve been incredibly well received,” Nielsen said. “I think it’s great. They brought me a burger when they were kind of testing some stuff. I think it was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had."
Nova Eatery will have a rotating menu, “which is always exciting for those of us that like to experiment and try new things," he said.
Overall, business at Fargo Brewing is "really humming along” as both private and public events in the hall and brewer’s bar “have really picked up," Nielsen said.
Nielsen also noted the success of the Duhamel groom's dinner, with the couple renting the whole craft brewery and event center.
“I’m suspecting we’ll probably do a few more of those larger events,” Nielsen said. “And I think we’re definitely going to start seeing over the next couple of years a lot more development and activity in the neighborhood. And certainly, that’s good for everybody,” Nielsen said.