West Fargo to get Happy: Popular pizza, ice cream parlor adding third Fargo area location
Happy Joe's Pizza will open a new parlor in West Fargo in September, the third in metropolitan Fargo-Moorhead. Owner Mike Post said the nearly 5,000-square-foot restaurant will bring a new look to the pizza chain begun in 1972 by Minot, N.D., nat...
Happy Joe's Pizza will open a new parlor in West Fargo in September, the third in metropolitan Fargo-Moorhead.
Owner Mike Post said the nearly 5,000-square-foot restaurant will bring a new look to the pizza chain begun in 1972 by Minot, N.D., native Joe Whitty.
"It's got a whole new décor," Post said, including a split-block face with copper roof and awnings.
Like the 5,800-square-foot Happy Joe's restaurant at 2511 S. University Drive, Fargo, the new eatery will have a fun center, two party rooms, drive-up window, buffet and ice cream parlor.
Happy Joe's also has a restaurant at 3132 Broadway in Fargo.
The new restaurant will employ about 50 to 60 people, Post said. The target date for completion is Aug. 15 with plans to open for business Sept. 1, he said.
Why West Fargo?
"It's an area we can't reach with our south store and north store," Post said. "Just the tremendous growth on 13th Avenue made it very desirable to be there."
"It's just exciting to see all these new restaurants come to this city," said Dorinda Anderson, West Fargo business development director.
Five years ago, West Fargo had just three or four sit- down restaurants, Anderson said. "That makes a huge difference; they can stay in our city and eat," she said.
The Happy Joe's pizza chain, with headquarters in Bettendorf, Iowa, has 65 restaurants in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri and North Dakota.
Whitty, raised on a North Dakota farm, leased a drive-in restaurant in 1956 after graduating from Des Lacs (N.D.) High School. He ran it for two years.
Ten years later he was living in Davenport, Iowa, and working in a grocery store bakery. Next came a stint with Shakey's Pizza in New Mexico.
It was there that he came up with the idea of combining the sale of pizza with ice cream and opened his first Happy Joe's in East Davenport, Iowa, on Nov. 16, 1972.
Readers can reach Forum Business Editor Craig McEwen at (701) 241-5502