WEST FARGO — The first bar and restaurant at the Lights on Sheyenne 32 development near 32nd Avenue and Sheyenne Street South is slated to open its doors for the first time Wednesday, June 3.
Sports bar and restaurant Bar Down may be the new hotspot for hockey families who spend a lot of time at West Fargo Sports Arena and want to go have a quick drink or bite to eat and kill an hour, and not just because of the name.
The establishment, which gets its name from the hockey term “bar down” — a goal scored when the puck hits the crossbar and goes straight down into the net — is about half a mile away from the arena.
Hollie and Bob Kietzer, who own Bar Down, have a 12-year-old who plays hockey, and with practice four nights a week and games on the weekends, the family spends a lot of time at West Fargo Sports Arena.
“It was one of those things where we have to be there an hour and a half before the game typically, so by the time we would drop off and get home, it was like almost turning around and going back,” Hollie said. “We feel like it's going to be just a nice option for hockey parents to come in and have a drink or have a quick bite to eat in between games or practices.”
Event-goers who plan to attend concerts at the outdoor plaza at The Lights on Sheyenne 32, which is owned by the city of West Fargo and managed by nonprofit West Fargo Events, can also hunker down near the restaurant’s garage-type doors that open up to face the MIDCO Stage at the Lights. The plaza is set to host a number of concerts as social distancing guidelines are lifted and large events are approved.
“We were really excited to be a part of this whole, the Lights on Sheyenne 32,” said Hollie, a realtor with Beyond Realty. “It’s a pretty phenomenal project that West Fargo is working on. We’re just excited to be the first bar that’s going in there.”
Kid-friendly Bar Down isn’t fully hockey-themed inside, but hockey fans will undoubtedly be drawn to the bar and restaurant, which features ice rink tables, a hockey mural on the wall and pizzas named after the sport - “The Great One” after Wayne Gretzky and “Pepperoni Hat Trick.”
Bar Down’s menu includes specialty burgers, soups, salads, sandwiches and steaks, but will specialize in stone-fired pizza.
The sports bar and restaurant will take up charitable gaming, offering gaming such as Pig Wheel and electronic pull tabs, and has 24 high-definition televisions, pool and darts.
The Kietzers were shooting to open Bar Down the third week in May, but the coronavirus pandemic stalled some of the original plans.
“The timing is definitely not ideal, but we have used it in a positive way as far as just taking this added time to really zero in on the service, the menu, the training and things like that,” Hollie said. “When we're ready and everything is ready to go, we're going to be well prepared and ready to start serving customers.”
Bar Down will be operating under the “ND Smart Restart protocols” when it welcomes customers in for the first time, which include limiting patrons to half of normal capacity and spacing tables 6 feet apart.