East Grand Forks restaurants Drunken Noodle, Little Bangkok will likely share space by early 2014The Drunken Noodle and Little Bangkok, both of which have opened within the past three years and are located just two blocks apart, will likely share the Drunken Noodle space sometime after construction there is finished next week, said Dave Scheer, the co-owner of both establishments.
By: John Hageman, Grand Forks Herald
Two Asian restaurants in East Grand Forks will likely be sharing the same space in early 2014.
The Drunken Noodle and Little Bangkok, both of which have opened within the past three years and are located just two blocks apart, will likely share the Drunken Noodle space sometime after construction there is finished next week, said Dave Scheer, the co-owner of both establishments.
“The Drunken Noodle space isn’t being used very well,” he said, adding that the number of customers there doesn’t warrant the large space. “The college crowd didn’t find us as attractive as we thought they would.”
Scheer said construction to add a sushi bar where a stage is located at the Drunken Noodle, 415 Second St. N.W., will begin Wednesday and last for about a week. He anticipates that the restaurant would be closed during that time.
The Little Bangkok restaurant won’t close, Scheer said, but instead will simply move operations to the Drunken Noodle. Scheer isn’t sure when the move will take place, but he said it will likely happen around the beginning of the year.
Scheer, along with Thamrong “Keng” Dechawuth opened Little Bangkok, a Thai restaurant, at 302 DeMers Avenue in 2010. Reinforced by their success there, they opened the Drunken Noodle in the former Applebee’s space along boardwalk area in East Grand Forks in early 2012. Drunken Noodle started in Fargo, where it still has a downtown location.
There will be two distinct restaurants sharing the space, but customers will be able to order off of both menus, Scheer said.
“If you have a table that wants noodles and sushi too, that’s OK, we’ll do that,” he said.
He acknowledged, however, that there are some risks in combining the restaurants because Little Bangkok has done well and customers like its atmosphere.
“Are we going to be able to make it enough like that to keep people coming,” Scheer wondered. “It’s a bit scary doing this.”
Scheer said he’s been exploring this idea for the past six months, but he left open the possibility that the merger may not happen at all.
“It’s in the 90 percent class,” Scheer said. “I mean, this is business. Nothing’s ever for sure.”