FARGO - If you’re craving a new sushi spot, CRAVE American Kitchen & Sushi Bar is expected to open at West Acres by the end of October.
“We’re targeting the last week of October for our opening,” said Dave Sincebaugh, chief operating officer for CRAVE’s parent company, Twin Cities-based Kaskaid Hospitality.
Sincebaugh declined to give a definite date, if only because getting the restaurant to this point has been a test of perseverance.
“It’s mostly been construction challenges,” Sincebaught said. “They’ve (contractors) done a great job, but there’s normal delays with getting vital parts shipped, (and) the weather hasn’t been great with some of the roof work.
“Everybody’s working hard and everybody’s doing their best. It’s just, delays happen sometimes,” he said.
Sincebaugh said the sushi chefs and management staff have been training for weeks and months, though many of the staff started training Monday, Oct. 7.
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“As far as staffing, we’re in a great place. We were able to staff to all of our quotas. We’ve had about 100 people we’ve hired,” he said Friday, Oct. 4.
“We invest a lot in training,” Sincebaugh said. “We go into it planning that we’re going to have to train everybody. We don’t make any assumptions. We invest about 16 days in total in training for our team, including some mock services that we do, to get them ready to go.”
Trainers include the corporate sushi chef and a team of eight to 10 people to train the front of the house staff (managers, wait and hosting staff, bartenders, bus people).
“We do a lot of classroom work. We let them make everything. Everybody gets to taste all the food so they can understand it. … Anywhere we open, there is a fair amount of staff that has not worked with sushi before. So we certainly put a lot of emphasis on sushi training,” Sincebaugh said.
“All of our management team has spent anywhere from about six weeks to three or four months working at our locations in the Twin Cities,” he said.
This will be the 11th CRAVE restaurant. There are eight CRAVE locations in the Twin Cities, one in Sioux Falls, S.D., and one in Sioux City, Iowa.
Kaskaid Hospitality also manages a BLVD Kitchen & Bar, and has a Cowboy Jacks and Burger Burger at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., Urban Eatery and the Piggy Bank eatery and music venue in Uptown Minneapolis, Brit’s Pub and the Union Restaurant and Rooftop in Minneapolis, CRAVE Catering, and Quincy Hall and Muse Event Center in Minneapolis.
CRAVE will be the first restaurant to open in The District at West Acres. However, Sincebaugh said Kaskaid isn’t looking to add more of its restaurant concepts here, at least for now.
“Our focus is 100% in getting CRAVE up and running. We’re just excited to be in Fargo,” he said.
Sincebaugh has ties to the area. He graduated from Fargo South High School in 1985, and attended North Dakota State University before moving to the Twin Cities at age 20. His start in the restaurant business came at the Perkins restaurant at 13th Avenue South and Interstate 29.
“My mom is here and my sister and her husband and my niece are here. I’m really excited. We just think Fargo is a great (fit) for the brand. We think it’s (CRAVE) going to add another great offering in the dining landscape for Fargo-Moorhead,” he said.