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Liquor commissioner votes against downtown Fargo license

Boss' Pizza & Chicken will receive its license, but commissioner Kay Schwarzwalter said there's too many downtown already.

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Boss’ Pizza & Chicken is planning to open in the old White Banner Uniform Shop building location at 228 Broadway N. in downtown Fargo.
David Samson / The Forum
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FARGO — Fargo Liquor Control Board Commissioner Kay Schwarzwalter voted against a liquor license for a pizza place opening downtown on Broadway on Wednesday, Jan. 20, stating there were already too many licenses in the area.

She said there are 13 liquor license establishments on Broadway and another seven off-Broadway between Main Avenue and Sixth Avenue North and she said she couldn't get behind adding another license.

"There are others with just beer and wine licenses that I didn't count," she said.

The other commissioners didn't agree, approving a restaurant liquor license for Boss' Pizza & Chicken at 228 Broadway on a 4-1 vote.

Boss' owner, Jeremy Seefeldt, who also operates similar restaurants in Grand Forks, Sioux Falls and 12 other locations, said he looks at his establishment, likely to open in April or May, as a "positive for downtown" because he'll be offering late night food options for downtown residents, something he said is lacking.

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"There really aren't any food options late at night now," Seefeldt said.

The business plans to stay open well past other restaurants on Broadway, and having food available for bar patrons from other establishments is a good thing, he said.

The "Class F" license for Boss' requires 50% of sales to be food, which is different from some bars where there's no food requirement.

Seefeldt stressed his business isn't a bar, but a pizza place first of all and that will be the focus of the business.

It was the second time the license came before the board, as Police Chief David Zibolski had raised "serious concerns" about the proposed manager for the restaurant and her drug paraphernalia convictions.

At that meeting, Seefeldt said the woman had been given "a second chance" and had dedicated herself to the company to become the company's best employee.

Nonetheless, a different general manager has been named. She is Tamara Garrett, who is moving her family to the area to operate the business next door to Dempsey's in the former White Banner Uniform Shop building.

Seefeldt added he has been in business for 14 years and hasn't had any problems with liquor licenses at his other operations.

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The license request will go before the Fargo City Commission for final approval.

An almost 50-year veteran of the newspaper business, Amundson has worked for The Forum and Forum News Service for 15 years. He started as a sport reporter in Minnesota. He is currently the city and night reporter for The Forum. bamundson@forumcomm.com 701-451-5665
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