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Trade Talk: F-M diners see more Chinese offerings

Diners looking for Chinese food, with perhaps some sushi on the side, get another option starting Tuesday. China Buffet House opens in the former Embers restaurant building on Main Avenue, just west of Interstate 29. The restaurant will offer mor...

Diners looking for Chinese food, with perhaps some sushi on the side, get another option starting Tuesday.

China Buffet House opens in the former Embers restaurant building on Main Avenue, just west of Interstate 29.

The restaurant will offer more than 80 items, 52 of them hot, between its buffet and salad bar, owner and manager Tony Chan said.

Eighty percent of the food will be Chinese, with the remainder American fare and some sushi, Chan said.

"A lot of different seafood. Snow crab every night and four different shrimp," he said.

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Chan spent three months renovating the restaurant, putting in new equipment in the kitchen. He and his wife, Linda, also renovated the dining area, turning it into an airy and inviting spot.

Chan also owns or is part owner of restaurants in Grand Forks (Gateway Buffet House) and Devils Lake, N.D., East Grand Forks, Minn., and Aberdeen, S.D.

Chan said another partner in the Fargo restaurant is Qiant Lan of Grand Forks.

The restaurant will open Tuesday afternoon, Chan said. After that, hours are Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The Chans plan to move to the Fargo-Moorhead area with their 4-month-old daughter.

Enter the Dragon II

China Dragon Buffet is taking over the old Village Inn restaurant building in south Moorhead.

Owners Yi Chen and Jie Jiang are leasing the building at 625 30th Ave. S.

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Chen and Jiang, from Fuzhou, China, opened their first China Dragon Buffet in December at 900 1st Ave. N. in Moorhead.

Chen said that restaurant will remain open. She said employees are being added for the second site, which should be ready later this month.

Where the current restaurant seats 150, the second one will seat more than 200. Chen said she's excited about the new restaurant because of other retail activity in south Moorhead, including the new Days Inn and Conference Center across the street.

Village Inn is operating a new Moorhead restaurant adjacent to the Courtyard by Marriott in the redeveloped Holiday Mall area.

Sahr Oil expands

Sahr Oil Co. of Fargo has purchased Keith's Mobil Oil Co. at 1534 1st Ave. N., Fargo.

Keith Johnson, 82, owner of Keith's Oil, retired after more than 50 years in the business.

The Keith's Oil bulk plant will be dismantled, Sahr Oil owner Bob Sahr said. The Keith's Oil accounts are being serviced from Sahr Oil at 1800 3rd Ave. N.

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Sahr sells diesel, gas, heating oil and other petroleum products by Exxon, Mobil and Sinclair.

F-M gets high marks

Fargo-Moorhead is the seventh-best place to live and work in America, at least according to 2003 rankings released by Employment Review magazine.

"The Fargo-Moorhead metro area lies along the Red River and forms a unified business community that is home to one of the upper Midwest's fastest-growing economies," according to the magazine.

Further, it credited Fargo-Moorhead for its "broad economic base," as a "unique center of learning" and the "entertainment capital of the region."

Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C., topped the list of the 20 best places, followed by Madison, Wis., Austin, Texas, Huntsville, Ala., Atlanta, and Nashville, Tenn.

Get into the network

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota is sponsoring a Business After Hours event 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Fargo Holiday Inn.

The regular Chamber of Commerce of Fargo Moorhead events promote business opportunities by helping businesspeople network with each other, industry leaders and vendors in a social atmosphere.

For tips on the fine art of networking, a "How to Do Business at Business After Hours" workshop will be held 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday in the Mezzanine Room at the Holiday Inn.

The session is free to all employees of Chamber-member firms registered to attend Business After Hours.

Registration online at www.thechamber.net , or call the Chamber at (218) 233-1100.

Honor innovators

Nominations for the 2004 North Dakota Business Innovator of the Year Award are being sought by the Center for Innovation at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

The award recognizes business leaders, entrepreneurs and their accomplishments in boosting the state's economy.

The 2003 recipients were Thomas E. Kenville, president and CEO of Mid America Aviation in West Fargo; Darold Rath, managing partner of Eide Bailly, Fargo; and Wahpeton, N.D., native Richard S. Strong, president and CEO of Strong Financial Corp. of Milwaukee.

Nominees may be tied to North Dakota by residence, education or business accomplishments. They must be living. The award recognizes a recipient's work over the last 20 years.

Nominations can be sent to: Center for Innovation, P.O. Box 8372, Grand Forks, ND 58202-8372. The letter of nomination must be postmarked by Aug. 31, and should include a list of accomplishments, significant innovations, and the address and phone number of the nominee.

Wahpeton gets wired

Qwest Communications International Inc. has extended DSL to Wahpeton, N.D.

"This gives our area another broadband option to help ensure continued economic growth and success and helps us remain competitive with other communities," said Shawn Kessel, Wahpeton city administrator.

"We are excited to be able to provide residents in Wahpeton with a service that can simplify their personal lives and help their businesses run more effectively," said Scott Macintosh, Qwest president for North Dakota.

With Qwest DSL, customers can surf the Internet at speeds ranging from approximately 256 kilobits per second to 7 megabits per second, which -- at the highest speed -- is about 125 times faster than a traditional 56-kilobit dial-up connection.

Moorhead-based 702 Communications has also offered DSL service in the Wahpeton market since October 2002, according to the company.

Readers can reach Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583 or Gerry Gilmour at (701) 241-5560

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