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Published May 09, 2012, 02:43 PM

Longtime Grand Forks Restaurant 'Bronze Boot' Closes

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A longtime and favorite Grand Forks restaurant is no more. The Bronze Boot Steakhouse and Lounge, open since 1954, has closed. Customers have been pulling into the parking lot of the Bronze Boot, and leaving disappointed.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - A longtime and favorite Grand Forks restaurant is no more.

The Bronze Boot Steakhouse and Lounge, open since 1954, has closed.

Customers have been pulling into the parking lot of the Bronze Boot, and leaving disappointed.

"It's traumatic if it closes that does not have to happen," longtime customer Paula Ausan said.

The Grand Forks supper club has been on N. Washington St. for nearly 60 years and Doug Brecke says he has been coming here for the last 50.

"It's got an atmosphere, it really does. A lot of the new place don't have a sit-down type friendly atmosphere," Brecke said.

The closing is likely due to a leaky roof. Two days ago the Grand Forks Heath Department responded to a customer complaint about water dripping from the ceiling in the restaurant. Public Health Director Don Shields says they found water dripping in several places including the dining room and food prep area.

"Some of the water was stagnant, some of the water was dripping. We were concerned about the possible contamination of the food and the fact that that needed to be corrected," Shields said.

Shields says the Health Department told the owner, Terry Fonder, the problem would have to be fixed if the restaurant were to continue to operate. Shields says he voluntarily closed the doors on Tuesday.

"We are very glad that he decided to do that and we certainly hope that the Bronze Boat reopens," Shields said.

Shields says by not forcing the restaurant to close, there would be less paper work if the owners choose to reopen.

"We really prefer to work with the restaurants in town, because we are interested in doing things and keeping people open, and how things can be done and be done safely," Shields said.

Judging by the number of cars coming through the parking lot Wednesday, many will be hoping and waiting for the neon lights on the Bronze Boot sign to light up once again.

"It just part of Grand Forks, it just needs to be here," Brecke said.

WDAZ contacted Bronze Boot owner Terry Fonder, but he had no comment.

Shields says since visit most recent visit wasn't considered and inspection, they did not write up any violations and just asked him to close until the problem was fixed.

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