The economic impact of becoming 'Flavor Town'
Seeing a red convertible with a spiky blond man can only mean one thing: Fargo-Moorhead is now Flavor Town.
FARGO-MOORHEAD — Food Network star Guy Fieri spent Monday, June 22 and Tuesday, June 23 touring local food favorites while filming episodes for his show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives."
The king of comfort food and his TV crew were spotted at Sol. Ave. in Moorhead and Pounds in downtown Fargo. Rumor has it they also swung by Rustica and Blackbird Woodfire.
These local restaurants may soon feel what many call "The Guy Fieri Effect": when a restaurant is broadcasted on food network airwaves, they receive a surge of new customers.
Dan Hurder, managing partner at The Boiler Room restaurant in downtown Fargo, shares his experience as his team was featured in the Cooking Channel's "Man vs. Food" episode which aired months ago.
"I've heard some rumors that Guy Fieri is running around town," Hurder said. "I don't think that it's a very well kept secret anymore."
Host of "Man vs. Food" Casey Webb became the first to conquer The Boiler Room's "hot dish challenge".
"You can catch me at the very end, I deliver the hot dish for the challenge," Hurder explained.
Even though he was just a supporting character, his restaurant and crew got in the spotlight, and it drew in a lot of new customers.
"We actually had at least one gentleman that drove from Minneapolis specifically to accomplish the challenge," he said.
Unfortunately, it aired on March 2 — shortly before the coronavirus pandemic caused local restaurants to temporarily close.
"Then we were mandated to shut down just two weeks later, so we didn't get to ride that tidal wave of publicity for too long," Hurder recalled.
But the national television ocean has more than one wave.
Staff at The Nook in St. Paul, which appeared on Guy Fieri's show years ago, said every time a re-run airs, they get a "new surge of customers."
Like the many other restaurants seen on TV, the "Guy effect" is a gift that keeps on giving. For now, the lucky Fargo-Moorhead restaurants graced by Fieri's gelled locks are waiting to receive this gift.
There is no set time for when Fargo's episode airs as of June 23.