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City updates bar patio rules

The West Fargo City Commission unanimously passed a first reading of an ordinance last week to revise the city’s alcoholic beverages code that is expected to better-define what is required for outdoor patios.

Under the new requirements, bar owners must enclose outdoor patios with a permanent wall, fence or dense plantings, and not permit entrance to the bar from the outdoor enclosure. The barriers will need to be at least 3½-feet tall.

No bar owners opposed the changes or spoke out about them when they met Aug. 17 with city officials, Commissioner Mark Simmons said.

Not every bar owner attended the meeting.

West Fargo Police Chief Mike Reitan told the commission that most bars already comply with the revisions with the exception of The Work Zone bar on Main Avenue. The Work Zone’s outdoor patio barriers are temporary and not permanent as required by the code revisions.

Restaurants weren’t included in the revisions, but city code still requires restaurants to clearly define outdoor patios where drinking is allowed. The revisions will go into effect after the commission approves a second reading on Monday.

Josh Francis

Josh is a general assignment reporter for The Forum and the sports reporter for the West Fargo Pioneer. Josh previously interned as a reporter for the Reading Eagle in Reading, Penn. and worked as a freelance reporter for the Orange County Register in California. He welcomes story ideas via email or phone. Have a comment to share about a story? Letters to the editor should include author’s name, address and phone number. Generally, letters should be no longer than 250 words. All letters are subject to editing. Send to

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