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March Mania

Hooters to close in Fargo restaurant shuffle

Hooters in Fargo, N.D.

FARGO, N.D. - After more than 20 years here, Hooters, the chain known for its wings and scantily clad waitresses, is leaving the nest.

Hooters of Fargo will close March 31, said Kerry Fernholz, a partner in Starmark Hospitality, a private management company that manages Hooters.

Sickies Garage, now located at The Hub, will move into the restaurant at 3431 Fiechtner Drive S. after a two- to three-week remodel, Fernholz said.

A new Sweeto Burrito location will open in the old Sickies Garage at 2525 9th Ave. S., he said. Like at its downtown location, the burrito shop will offer breakfast, lunch, dinner and a late-night menu.

Fernholz said the Fargo Hooters franchise agreement expired, and renewing would require a 20-year agreement.

"The current ownership (FTS Holdings) has decided they ... don't want to go that route," Fernholz said.

FTS Holdings will rent the property to Fernholz and Scott Upton, a partner in Starmark Hospitality.

Sickies Garage and The Hub are both subsidiaries of Starmark Hospitality, which Fernholz said is being renamed.

Sickies Garage is outgrowing its space in The Hub, Fernholz said. In the new location, it will still offer its "50 burgers and 50 brews concept," as well as handmade pizza and wings, he said.

It will also have a game room and host regular outdoor events, Fernholz said.

He said Hooters has done fine in Fargo, but he noted the restaurant has a "connotation" and isn't accepted by all restaurant-goers.

"Sickies Garage lends itself more to a family-oriented restaurant," he said. "It should be a real good move."

Hooters first opened in Fargo in the early 1990s at 1649 38th St. S. In 2008, it moved to Fiechtner Drive, the former location of a Ponderosa Steakhouse.

The Hooters location in Bismarck will remain open, Fernholz said.

The Hooters corporate website states there are more than 430 Hooters locations in 27 countries. Franchising opportunities are available in Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio and Iowa, as well as other U.S. and Canadian locations.

Franchise owners must have a net worth of more than $5 million, including $2 million in liquid assets, and at least five years as a multirestaurant owner/operator. The initial investment is a $75,000 franchise fee, the Hooters website stated.

Other restaurant news

Not far from Hooters, another restaurant has closed.

Quiznos, the toasted sub sandwich shop, closed its location at 3001 13th Ave. S., Fargo, in late December.

Its lease was up, said Christine Skager, a manager. She said six of the shop's employees moved to the Quiznos location on 19th Avenue North. The others secured jobs elsewhere.

Readers can reach Richards at (701) 241-5556.