Owner Fargo Billiards & Gastropub blames shutdown on COVID pandemic – InForum

FARGO – A popular hangout in southern Fargo is set to close for good, another victim of gathering restrictions and concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The owners of Fargo Billiards & Gastropub announced on Facebook that the 11-year-old company at 3234 43rd St. S. will close for good on Saturday, Nov. 14 at the close of trading.

“Fargo Billiards will close for good at the end of this week, after Saturday, November 14, 2020,” said owners Mike and Adele Page on Sunday, November 8.

MIke Page was stoic and philosophical about the impending closure of the company he loves.

“It was fun. It was good,” he said on Monday, Nov. 9, looking out over a small sea of ​​pool tables, ping pong tables and cornhole games.

In the winter months, such as December and January, leading up to and booking the holiday season, 4,000 or more people cycled through the doors weekly for business, retirement and family events. But due to concerns about the pandemic, many companies are withdrawing from large gatherings. It has crippled the business model for the massive dining and entertainment center.

“It’s a shame. We really are a place that absolutely relies on large gatherings,” Page said. “At this time of year, we rely on a lot of reservations from large and medium-sized employers bringing people together.”

Page said it’s “a COVID thing. … The problem here is really the virus.”

The Pages, like many people in the hospitality industry, have monitored their bottom line with concern during the early stages of the pandemic. Winter is normally their busy season, but this winter seemed to be a bust.

Pooling in the main hall is not a problem, he says, especially with the high ceilings and robust air handling system of the building. The problem is missing out on the income of large groups.

“We are very dependent on large, close-knit gatherings,” he said.

In their Facebook post, the Pages thanked customers and employees.

“Many people have contributed to making the place – the Gastropub for some, Billiards or Fargo Billiards for others – what it has been for the past eleven years. And we are so grateful for the contributions of the many current and former employees,” the post said.

“We wanted to increase social engagement, bring people together, in a small way strengthen bonds and weaken the barriers between us,” the Pages wrote.

“It’s a tough business – hard to get the numbers working under the best conditions. Group gatherings are our veins, and person-to-person interaction of the type we can’t do right now is the blood that flows through them,” the couple wrote. “For anyone disappointed to hear this, we’re sorry.”

According to the Fargo Billiards & Gastropub website, it is a 28,500 square foot facility with 34 pool tables, ping pong, foosball, pinball, indoor beanbag chairs, volleyball, and a large deck. There is also a full-service restaurant and bar and a 3,000-square-foot elevated lounge. There are also rooms suitable for smaller gatherings.

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Fargo Billiards & Gastropub first opened in August 2009.

Mike Page is pictured at Fargo Billiards and Gastropub, shortly after it opened in 2009. Page recently announced that the business would be closing for good on Saturday, November 14. Forum file photo

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