FARGO—Boss’ Pizza & Chicken is ready to cut some pieces of the Fargo restaurant pie.
The restaurant at 228 Broadway officially opens at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 7.
With 36 specialty pizzas, rotisserie chicken and hours geared to please night owls, Boss’ will be trying to become the boss of downtown. All in friendly competition, of course, said general manager Tamara Garrett on Monday, June 6.
“I love them all. I’ve had all (the contestants’ pizzas) except Blackbird ”Woodfire Pizza,” she said.
She said the boss’ niche is the late-night crowd. “We won’t hurt anyone.”
Hours of operation extend far beyond the bar rush and into the realm of all-night college study sessions. It is open 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Monday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.
“These late nights pay off. People go out, go home…and they just want comfort food and we deliver at a good price. I can’t beat that,” Garrett said.
Boss’ Pizza is also open every day, even on holidays, she said, with Christmas and Thanksgiving being among the biggest selling days of the year.
The store, between Dempsey’s Public House and Everett’s Barbershop, is directly across from Sammy’s Pizza, a downtown staple.
She said she and her staff ate at Sammy’s and directed people to Sammy’s in the run up to the opening of Boss.
She also nods to other downtown pizzerias – Blackbird Woodfire Pizza, Rhombus Guys, Spicy Pie.
“Hopefully it’s a friendly competition, no problems,” Garrett said. “We are not looking to put anyone out of business. First of all, our schedules: we are late at night, that’s where we go to get our business. Of course, I know that we will have also crazy lunch and dinner. But late at night, we won’t hurt anyone. Like I said, friendly.
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The building was previously the longtime home of the White Banner Uniform Shop, which also had a long history downtown before moving to a new location in the southwest of the city.
In a nod to the building’s history, the White Banner sign was repainted with the name Boss Pizza.
“It really does look like a slice of pizza right now,” Garrett said. “Now it’s the Boss building, I guess.”
The restaurant seats approximately 180 people, with approximately 80 seats available upstairs in a long dining room that stretches from the front of the building on Broadway to the rear entrance on Robert’s Alley.
The basement dining room is large, with about 100 seats, giving it the flexibility to handle games, events, parties and catering, she said.
There are 28 big-screen TVs between the top and bottom, as well as LED tickers showing the headlines.
The restaurant offers a BIG menu, with many appetizers, salads, pasta dishes, sandwiches, side dishes and its popular roast chicken.
A basic cheese pizza starts at $12.99 for a medium 12 inch and goes up to $16.99 for an extra large 16 inch, but after that comes a plethora of toppings and sauces to choose from.
Specialty pizzas range from $17.99 to $24.99 and have names like The Bossage (marinara sauce, hot sausage, pork sausage, Italian sausage, and mozzarella cheese); Star City Special (cream cheese, pizza sauce, pepperoni, mozzarella and more pepperoni); and L’Orient Express (Ragin’ Asian sauce, chicken, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, pepper jack cheese and crushed red pepper).
There’s also the Boss Hog Pizza, a 28-inch that costs $49.99 for a cheese pie (plus $6.99 per topping) and $59.99 for a specialty.
The Boss Hog also carries a challenge. If a team of two can eat one of the pizzas in an hour – without leaving the table or throwing up – they can win a prize of $200 in Boss gift certificates and the pizza is free. Fail, and you pay the pie.
Garrett is working on the final steps of obtaining a full liquor license for the restaurant. Although alcohol will not be served initially, once the restaurant is licensed there will be beer, wine and spirits available.
The Sioux Falls, SD-based restaurant chain’s founder, Jeremy Seefeldt, originally estimated the Fargo store would open around the start of the year, but that never happened, in part due to delays in the supply chain for the installation of important equipment, such as a kitchen hood, but also for the implementation of building systems that needed to be adapted to current requirements.
“In fact, we probably would have been open a month ago. We had to redo the plumbing throughout the building,” Garrett said, adding that overall the redesign of the structure wasn’t too painful.
“This one (the opening of the restaurant), honestly, for the most part, it went really well,” she said.
Garrett is impressed with the performance of her staff during her smooth opening days.
“It went amazing. I was so impressed,” she said. “It was so sweet, it was weird.”
She said a few cooks from the Grand Forks shop had come to Fargo to train the new staff, and she praised their teamwork.
Garrett, who started as a line cook at Boss’ Pizza about three years ago, was the former night manager in Grand Forks before being promoted to manager of the Fargo store.
“Best job I’ve ever had, honestly. Best work environment I’ve ever worked in. It’s great to work in an environment where you build up, instead of break down I guess said Garrett.
The restaurant set up a room with a window to Broadway, allowing people to order slices without having to enter the restaurant.
“It’s easier for everyone,” Garrett said.
The entrance area also has plenty of space for servicing pizza pick-ups.
“We’re thrilled to be here,” Garrett said. “We are definitely here to stay.”