Bringing Grand Forks downtown up a notch

Story by Robb Jeffries

Downtown Grand Forks businesses are banding together to boost development in the city’s core.

Named the Downtown Development Association, group member Jon Holth of The Toasted Frog restaurant and bar said the organization started when Mayor Mike Brown’s office contacted Rhombus Guys pizzeria owners Arron Hendricks and Matt Winjum shortly after Brown’s State of the City address in February. Since then, the group has set specific goals, along with a vision of the future of the group.

“Downtown is already a beautiful place,” Holth said. “We just want to bring it up a notch.”

Grand Forks small business owners (from left to right) Matt Norby (Norby’s Work Perks), Sarah Horak (Gilly’s, O’Really’s and Level 10), Jonathon Holth (the Toasted Frog), Nicole Johnson (Kittson Boutique), Anne Zimmer (Avant Hair & Skincare Studios) and Emily Burkland (Empire Arts Center) stand downtown at the corner of Demers Avenue and Fourth Street. The owners are all members of the Downtown Development Association, including Matt Winjum and Arron Hendricks (Rhombus Guys) and Tim Knight (Caribou Coffee), who are not pictured. Photo credit: Jenna Watson/Grand Forks Herald

Holth said the group plans to make a presentation to city officials Aug. 5.

“We’ve seen downtown groups in other communities work well and support their community,” Community/Government Relations Officer Pete Haga said. “The idea of having people that have invested themselves in the ongoing vitality and success of an area is a great idea.”Haga praised the group’s progress and said the city government is interested in helping support it.

“(City officials) can’t say enough about the drive and desire that we are seeing,” he said. “We really want to find the best way to nurture that and support that.”

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One thought on “Bringing Grand Forks downtown up a notch

  1. Downtown Grand Forks has so much potential…and key to attracting more creative, progressive, smart entrepreneurs who are willing to think outside the “franchise” box. I patronize the multitude of Subways, but I don’t think GF needs another one lol

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