FARGO — Operating a restaurant or bar is difficult under ideal circumstances. This year brought a slew of new challenges, such as capacity limits, curfews and restrictions on dine-in services thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
"It's a tough business — tough to make the numbers work under the best of circumstances," wrote Mike and Adele Page in a Facebook post announcing they would soon close their business, Fargo Billiards & Gastropub. "Group gatherings are our veins, and person-to-person interaction of the type we cannot do now is the blood that flows through them. To all who are disappointed to hear this, we are sorry.”
According to a study released earlier this month by the National Restaurant Association, 1 in 6 restaurants has closed since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
While the metro area has fared better than the national average, at least 20 bars and restaurants have closed here in 2020.
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Here is a partial list of closures compiled by Forum reporters and editors:
- Cafe Aladdin, 530 6th Ave. N., closed in November.
- Cold Stone Creamery, 1617 32nd Ave. S., closed in November.
- Fargo Billiards and Gastropub, 3234 43rd St. S., closed in November.
- Incognito Burrito, 1414 12th Ave. N., closed this summer.
- Kentucky Fried Chicken, 3061 25th St. S., closed in September.
- King House, 122 Broadway, closed in October.
- McDonald's, 905 Main Ave., closed in January.
- Mom's Kitchen, 1322 Main Ave., closed in February.
- MVP Pizza, 3132 Broadway, closed in February.
- Old Chicago, 2551 45th St. S., closed in April.
- Pizza Hut, 1207 19th Ave. N., closed in September.
- Saffron Bistro, 1201 1st Ave. N., closed this summer.
- Toscana, 202 Broadway, closed in April.
- Viet Palace, 1620 32nd Ave. S., closed in May.
- VIP Restaurant, 624 Main Ave., closed this summer.
- BLVD, 3147 Bluestem Drive, West Fargo, closed in mid-March.
Flatland Brewery, 3140 Bluestem Drive, closed in July.
- Tru Blu, 915 19th Ave. E., has been closed since March.
- O'Leary's Irish Pub and Grill, 808 30th Ave. S., closed in January.
- Reese & Riley's Olive Oil and Bistro Bar, 935 37th Ave. S., will close Dec. 30.
- Sarpino's Pizzeria, 818 30th Ave. S., closed in June.
This year was hard on retail as well. Stores not considered essential were forced to close their doors for several weeks in March as governors of North Dakota and Minnesota issued stay-at-home orders in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
While most reopened, the pandemic sped up consumers' shift to online shopping.
The following is a partial list of Fargo retail closures in 2020:
- Gordman's, 5100 14th Ave. S., closed in August.
- Gap, West Acres, announced it would close in January 2021.
- Gap Kids, West Acres, closed in July.
- Justice, West Acres, closed in August.
Pier 1, 4330 13th Ave. S., closed in September.
- Wizard of Kids, 4340 13th Ave. S., closed this summer.