Ryan Johnson / Forum News Service
FARGO—Dunkin' Donuts could start moving closer to North Dakota, but the doughnut and coffee chain doesn't yet have expansion plans in the Peace Garden State. A Minnesota Public Radio article last month said the chain, based in Canton, Mass., is starting to move west with plans to open dozens more stores in the state after opening four coffeehouses in the Twin Cities area so far.
WEST FARGO—Fifteen stores in a network of agriculture and construction equipment dealers headquartered here will soon close, including several in the region. Titan Machinery Inc. announced the upcoming closures on Thursday, Feb. 9, that will happen March 31 as part of a dealership restructuring. It includes stores in Redwood Falls and Thief River Falls in Minnesota and Arthur, Kintyre, Kulm and Mayville in North Dakota.
FARGO—ICSS Supply Co. was an "inside joke" that Seth Carlson thought up when he needed a name for his new salvaged lumber company in 2012. It's also been the source of many jokes lately, and Carlson is ready for his business to move on by changing the name to Dakota Timber Co. "I can tell you the No. 1 reason was because we were sick of people calling us ISIS," he said, referring to the Islamic State militant organization.
FARGO—Unemployment rates are on the rise in the Fargo-Moorhead area, and for North Dakota and Minnesota overall. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this week that North Dakota's not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 3.0 percent last month, up from 2.6 percent in November 2016 and 2.8 percent in December 2015. Minnesota, too, recorded an uptick to a not seasonally adjusted rate of 4.0 percent last month, up from 3.3 percent the previous month and 3.7 percent a year before.
FARGO—A first-of-its-kind expo will take over Scheels Arena this weekend and bring to mind plenty of warm summer memories, even in January. Explore Lake Life Expo, happening 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, costs $5 per person or $10 per family. North Dakota State University students will get free admission Friday with a valid student ID, and other visitors can get free admission with a Boat and Marine Products Show ticket.
FARGO—Tim Flakoll still remembers the early days of efforts to revitalize downtown Fargo, when the newly elected Republican state senator worked with the Legislature to establish the Renaissance Zone program in 1999. At the time, he said, leaders hoped it could once again become "a hip and cool place where people want to be." Seventeen years after that program started, offering incentives to spur development, and with other efforts as well, Flakoll said downtown has become a source of pride—and he hopes to help the neighborhood become even better.
FARGO -- A downtown restaurant that sought to stand out with its family-friendly offerings has gone out of business after about 14 months. Kitchen Gremlin, 402 Broadway, closed in December shortly before Christmas. A note posted on the door simply said, “Closed opening soon,” and a voicemail greeting told patrons the eatery was closed for the holidays before reopening in 2017.
FARGO—The new year has just begun, but it's already brought a flurry of local business closings.
FARGO—Maggie Zelinka's job can be a breeze sometimes, like when she's explaining what customers should know about the cookies at Insomnia Cookies. "They're delicious, and they're always served warm," she said. Zelinka, a marketing manager for the company that's now based in New York and Philadelphia, recently helped launch the brand's first location in North Dakota at 412 Broadway. The store opened Saturday, Jan. 7, and will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.
FARGO—A frozen ice pop maker is calling it quits after four years in business. Gigi's Ice Lollies, a food cart often seen around downtown Fargo each summer, closed up for good at the end of 2016, owner Nicole Kolbe posted Saturday, Dec. 31, to the company's Facebook page. "Gigi's has always been successful—even in the most bleak of times—but sadly our success has been too limited for us to continue," Kolbe wrote in the Facebook post. "There just isn't any money in gourmet frozen treats in the frozen tundra, it seems."