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‘Pizza theater’ premieres in West Fargo

Darl Morkassel sits in the dining area of Domino’s at 1380 9th St. E., West Fargo, which has seating for 21. Photo by Michael Vosburg.

WEST FARGO – West Fargo’s Domino’s Pizza, 1380 9th St. E., is now a sit-down and carryout restaurant.

Two weeks ago, the eatery moved one space north in West Fargo’s Pioneer Center and launched the first Domino’s pizza-theater store design in Fargo-Moorhead.

“We shut down and closed, ran everything over here in the middle of the night, and opened the next day,” said Darl Morkassel, general manager.

The West Fargo store is the third in this region to incorporate the “theater store” concept launched by Domino’s in 2012. The others are located in Minnesota in Fergus Falls and East Grand Forks, said Morkassel.

The West Fargo store’s open lobby will seat 21 people and offers a viewing area for customers to watch the food preparation process.

“I think it really opens it up so we can see everybody,” said Morkassel. “It’s a more open atmosphere. Customers are coming in and their jaw hits the floor,” he said. “That’s what we want, the wow. That’s why we’re doing it.”

The new store will employ about 35 full- and part-time workers. “We’d like to hire about 15 more people before winter,” he said.

Morkassel has been with Domino’s for 31 years: 16 in Fargo and 15 in West Fargo, he said.

“I moved here (from Williston) when I was 19 and freshly married. I started as a driver and liked it and have been doing it ever since.”

Now it’s a family affair.

Morkassel recently hired his mother, DuRae, to greet customers and help with pizza carryouts. His daughter, Kourtny, is assistant manager. Another daughter, Stephany, does deliveries, as does his son, Darl Jr., part time.

The Domino’s pizza chain, founded in 1960, has more than 11,000 stores worldwide.

Morkassel invites patrons to follow the business at facebook.com/dominoswestfargo

Store business hours are 10 a.m. to 1 a.m., Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 3 a.m., Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to midnight on Sunday.

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