One of Largest Bars in Grand Forks to OpenThe Metal Bar and Grill will be one of the largest in Grand Forks with a capacity of 850.
By: Joel Porter, WDAZ
It used to be a fabric store, but after a one-year overhaul, it's now one of the largest bars in Grand Forks.
Larry O'Connell will open the doors of the Metal Bar and Grill tomorrow.
O'Connell is the former owner of the Uptown-Downtown and the Great Northern Steakhouse in East Grand Forks.
He admits it's been an expensive process converting the Hancock fabric store into his vision for the Metal bar, but says with this new location, he hopes to draw a big crowd to the South Washington area.
After more than a year of planning, the final pieces of Larry O'Connell's bar are going into place. He custom built most of the pieces, including the bar.
"A lot of it did not come out of the box," Owner Larry O'Connell said.
O'Connell began with an empty fabric store. Since then, he's brought in booths, tables and paint to convert more than 16 thousand square feet into the Metal Bar and Grill.
"If you'd seen it, as a vacant fabric store, you'd have said like a lot of other people, you're out of your mind," O'Connell said.
"I saw pictures from when it was empty and to take a fabric store essentially and turn it into what it is now, takes a lot of creative effort, and a lot of production effort as well," General manager Jeff Loeding said.
O'Connell will get to see the fruit of his hard labors as he opens the doors tomorrow. They'll have room for about 850 people. One of the largest capacities of anywhere in Grand Forks.
"If it weren't for the setup, yeah I'd be nervous, but the way we do have it set up is very manageable," Loeding said.
And manager Jeff Loeding says that's a good thing. In the past he's managed bars downtown, and says with 10 pool tables, a gaming site, as well as a dance floor and live music, this is more than just a college bar.
"We ultimately want to put a spin on night life and the bar and grill industry in town, we don't want to single anybody out at all, we want to show everybody in town that a bar can be inclusive for everybody," Loeding said.
And O'Connell hopes that will bring in more party goers for him and his nearby neighbors.
"People never stay in one place all night, and if you're smart, when they leave your doors, go close by to somewhere near, because you'll probably get them back, but if they travel across town, you're probably likely not to get them back," O'Connell said.
O'Connell says he hopes to build a large patio out front for additional outdoor seating sometime next summer.