Punk Chef Pizza spot in heart of downtown Moorhead for sale

Owners Nate and Melissa Sauvageau are seeking $299,000 for turnkey restaurant, which closed Saturday, Jan. 28.

Punk Chef Pizza at 801 Main Ave. in Moorhead has closed.
David Samson/The Forum

MOORHEAD — The Punk Chef Pizza and Bar space in the Block E building is for sale.

The now-closed downtown restaurant at 801 Main Ave. is listed with a real estate multiple listing service for $299,000 with furniture, fixtures and equipment.

The restaurant had been listed for about a month, co-owner Nate Sauvageau said Tuesday, Jan. 31. He recently lowered the price.

The new price “is very affordable in the restaurant business,” said Sauvageau, who co-owners the business with his wife, Melissa.

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He is disappointed that “we couldn’t make it work” after the stops and gos for the hospitality industry that came with the COVID-19 pandemic.


The 3,412-square-food first floor eatery is listed with Brokers Commercial Properties.

“Turnkey restaurant available for sale, all FF & E included, business holds liquor license. Located in the new Block E building in the historic downtown Moorhead area. Great visibility. Sale EXCLUDES clothing merchandise. Fantastic restaurant ownership opportunity,” the listing reads.

“We have had a couple of inquiries, but we haven’t seen a ton of action yet. Hopefully the word gets out there in the next 30 to 60 days,” Sauvageau said. “I’d like to see somebody move into that space. That would be great.”

Punk Chef opened to the public June 1, 2022. The last day for the punk rock-themed bar and restaurant was Saturday, Jan. 28.

For the Sauvageaus, it was the third shot at looking for success with that space.

In a May 2022 interview with The Forum, Sauvageau said he hoped that the price point of the pizzas and other offerings would work for the area’s college students and families living downtown and the surrounding residential neighborhoods.

The concept was a major pivot from two previous Block E building iterations of Usher’s House restaurant and bar, which took solid aim at the fine-dining crowd. Both attempts were held back by the pandemic.

The first concept was open 10 months before state-mandated closings of bars and dine-in restaurants in mid-March 2020. That closure ended up lasting about a year.


When Usher’s House reopened in spring 2021, it offered a slimmed-down menu and small-plate tapas, offering up a more laid back and social vibe. That lasted until just before Christmas 2021, when the restaurant closed again, unable to source ingredients to keep the menu consistent, Sauvageau said.

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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