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Sickies Garage to open second Fargo location; announces closure of East Grand Forks restaurant

The popular "burgers and brews" restaurant is seeking a full alcohol license for the former Old Chicago restaurant space at 2551 45th St. S.

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Sickies Garage Burgers & Brews plans a second Fargo location at the former Old Chicago seen Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, at 2551 45th St. S., Suite 101. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
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FARGO - The owners of Sickies Garage Burgers & Brews plan to open a second Fargo location, south of Interstate 94 and near where a large housing and commercial development is planned.

The Fargo City Commission voted 5-0 Monday, Aug. 23, to grant a Class FA (full alcohol) license for 2551 45th St. S, Suite 101, the site of the former Old Chicago restaurant.

The FA license has an initial fee of $100,000, City Auditor Steve Sprague said.

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Sickies Garage Burgers & Brews is seen Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, at 3431 Fiechtner Dr. S., Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

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Sprague said Kerry Fernholz, one of the owners of Sickies Garage, confirmed that the new address would be a second location.

The new Sickies Garage will front one of the metro area's busiest arterial streets. It's an area of Fargo that has seen rapid infill of retail and commercial properties in the last few years. Most recently, West Fargo-based EPIC Companies announced it will build a multi-building housing and business complex on 17 acres of land purchased from the Fargo Park District on the east side of 45th Street South.

Old Chicago, which closed in April 2020, was one of Fargo-Moorhead's early hospitality industry casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The current Sickies Garage location at 3431 Fiechtner Drive S. also has an FA license, Sprague said.

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An FA license allows bar and table service and requires that food sales exceed alcohol sales. Sprague said Sickies hasn't had problems meeting the food sales mark.
“They’re always up in the 65% to 70% food sales, so they’re very good,” Sprague told the Liquor Control Board at its meeting a few days earlier.

Sickies comes under the corporate umbrella of Starmark Hospitality, a private management, marketing and accounting firm based in south Fargo.

Starmark also operates the Broken Spoke Saloon and Iron Horse Saloon in Sturgis, S.D.; and several Sweeto Burrito franchise stores around the U.S.

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The company announced Saturday, Aug. 28, that its East Grand Forks, Minn., restaurant has been permanently closed. In a Facebook post, the company blamed the closure on the economic effects of the initial pandemic shutdown and persistent issues with having adequate staff.

There are currently seven Sickies Garage locations. They are:

  • 3431 Fiechtner Dr S., Fargo
  • 3130 N 14th St, Bismarck
  • 3313 E. Mall Drive Rapid City, S.D.
  • 2616 S. Louise Ave., Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • 1203 Cornhusker Rd, Bellevue, Neb.
  • 7640 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy., Kissimmee, Fla.
  • 6629 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas
Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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