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Midtown Tavern planned for former Duane's House of Pizza spot in Moorhead

The new sports bar and restaurant will serve the local favorite Duane's pizzas under a product use and sales agreement.

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The building at 2223 Highway 10 East in Moorhead, seen in this file photo, will be turned into Midtown Tavern, the building's owner said Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. Helmut Schmidt / The Forum

MOORHEAD — A new sports bar and full service restaurant — serving local favorite Duane’s pizzas — is planned for the former Duane’s House of Pizza location on Moorhead’s east side.

RKB Investments Inc. is aiming to open the Midtown Tavern at 2223 Highway 10 East.

RKB will make extensive renovations inside and out, starting in October, with completion expected in January 2022, according to city documents. The City Council approved a request for property tax breaks and employee credits at its meeting Monday, Sept. 27.

RKB is leasing the building from Southwind Asset Management, owned by Steve Schultz.

Schultz is also the owner of the remaining two Duane’s House of Pizza locations in Fargo.

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“They did sign an agreement to sell my pizza. They have a product use and sales agreement with me, kind of like a franchise. They’ll be selling our Duane’s pizza, but it will be a bar and it will be privately owned by them. I’ll have absolutely nothing to do with it other than making sure they’re following my recipes when they sell my product,” Schultz said Friday, Sept. 24.

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The bar and restaurant will take up about 80% of the 1970s-era strip center — more than 6,000 square feet, Schultz said.
A beauty salon and crop insurance business will be out of the building by the end of the month, Schultz said.

Schultz, who has his office in the same building, said he will also have to find a new place to handle his business concerns.

“They will fix the space the way they want it,” Schultz said.

Half of the tavern will be a bar and the other half will be for family dining. The menu will also include burgers, cheesesteak, macaroni and cheese, eggrolls and more.

Interior finishes will include subway tile and reclaimed wood. A new pizza oven and tap system will be installed.

“They’re making an aggressive move,” Schultz said. “That place is going to be huge. It’s a positive thing, definitely.”

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City documents show the maximum property tax benefit will be $25,660. The employee credit is $1,500 per employee, with a maximum benefit of $25,000, depending on the total number of employees.

Schultz closed the Moorhead Duane’s House of Pizza due to difficulty hiring enough employees to staff the restaurant properly.

“I can’t keep enough employees in the two locations I have yet,” Schultz said. “You know when I closed Moorhead ... I only had eight people on the payroll and it took 24 to run that store. That’s why we locked it up."

He added that he’s happy his signature pizzas will be sold again in Moorhead

“It will be fun to get the name back over there, I tell you that much,” Schultz said.

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