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Published June 15, 2012, 09:13 PM

Grand Forks' Red Pepper Restaurant Expanding to Fargo

FARGO — Another restaurant name that is well known to Grand Forks foodies could soon be coming to Fargo.

By: Dave Olson, Erik Burgess, Forum Communications

FARGO — Another restaurant name that is well known to Grand Forks foodies could soon be coming to Fargo.

Jeff Tellmann, who along with his wife, Nicki, owns two Red Pepper restaurants in Grand Forks, said they are actively scouting for a location in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Their taco joint has been a staple in Grand Forks for decades.

“That’s a first for us in our 40-year history. We’ve been entertaining the idea for some time, and we’re now at that point where we’re ready to move on it,” said Tellmann, whose parents, Bruce and Janet, purchased the business in 1973.

Tellmann wouldn’t give a precise timetable for the expansion, but added, “We would like to be down there by the end of the year.”

He said the restaurant and its homemade Mexican food is known for its grinder sandwiches.

“They come in ham, salami and turkey and they have mayo, lettuce and hot sauce on them. We put taco meat on the top,” Tellmann said, adding that the restaurant’s signature red pepper chip sauce is “a fairly unique blend, but it seems to have worked for us up in Grand Forks here for the last four decades or so.”

The Red Pepper locations in Grand Forks are both located near the UND campus, and Tellmann said they are looking for a similar set-up in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

“I think we would stick with that model of going after the college-age kids,” he said.

If a new location were to settle down in Fargo, Red Pepper would join a growing list of businesses that have already made the move south after getting their start in Grand Forks.

Rhombus Guys Pizza, located in Fargo at 606 Main Ave., opened here last August after finding success in downtown Grand Forks. Connor Paulson, the kitchen manager for the Fargo location, said the move south was inevitable.

“People (in Grand Forks) all the time were like, ‘Oh we wish we had you guys in Fargo,’” he said. “We got that question so much, and I remember answering it all the time.”

Paulson has worked with Rhombus since 2007 when he was a student at the UND. He said the Fargo location is planning to open a rooftop dining area, much like their location in Grand Forks.

“We expect it to do really well here,” he said.

The roof should be open by July, Paulson said.

Deek’s Pizza, also recently expanded from Grand Forks to Fargo.