A new and exciting restaurant is coming to town, and it’s like no other in the FM area. 701 Eateries is the innovation of the sister-in-law team of Shelby Terstriep and Britt Belquist, their husbands, Chad Terstriep and Alex Belquist, and their hometown friends Eric and Sarah Myhre.
While the Myhres are new to the team, the Terstrieps and Belquists are no strangers to the restaurant business. Britt and Alex opened their first restaurant, Brew (now Brew Ales and Eats), in Perham, MN in 2011 after culinary school. Shelby and Chad joined them in ownership shortly after when Britt and Alex began expanding their business. Today the team also owns City Brew Hall in Wahpeton, ND, Brew Bird in Fargo, ND, and partnered with other business owners on Up North Pizza Pub in East Grand Forks, MN.
Owning a restaurant is a dream come true for this team. When asked what she likes best about being an owner, Shelby said, “I love seeing old buildings transformed into bustling ‘neighborhood parties.’ I love the creativity and constantly trying to figure out how to do something better. I love seeing our staff get raises, benefits and new opportunities.”
Britt echoed her sentiment, saying, “I love the variety and constantly learning new things. From accounting, to short order cooking, to website building, to growing a team – I have loved it all… Seeing the friendships and relationships (and sometimes families!) created is so amazing and rewarding!”
In contrast to its modern look, the building, located at 701 N. University Drive, has been part of the Fargo landscape for 100 years. Built in 1920, the building originally was home to Acme Dairy and most recently Rosie’s Laundromat.
The fresh and fun restaurant concept splits the building’s three floors into three different types of dining experiences. The lower level, the Dain Room, offers a private event space with room for 30-40 people. It boasts a state-of-the-art sound system, a framed tv for customer use, and a wine cellar and whiskey tasting area.
The Prairie Kitchen, located on the main floor, is perfect for a casual and fun meal. A wood fired grill, Scandinavian décor, and a menu that boasts classic midwestern plates, all come together to make one feel at home while dining out.
For entertainment and fresh air, visit the upper level to dine and play at Camp Lonetree. The indoor “cabin” leads to a four-season rooftop patio that includes shuffleboard and campfires in the summer and curling and private dining igloos in the winter.
The restaurant itself isn’t the only aspect of this business venture that’s out of the ordinary. 701 Eateries is partially funded through a revenue sharing note. Investors, or members, can invest in the restaurant at five different contribution levels. Through this revenue sharing note, the more business 701 gets, the more quickly the investor will be paid back, increasing the interest return on their repayment amount. This model ensures that the more successful the business is the more successful the investor will be. At 701, investors are more than just investors, they’re a part of the family. Those who are interested in becoming members to receive business perks and a return on investment can now find 701 on “Mainvest” by searching 701 Eateries.
701 Eateries has been a long time coming. The ownership team first began the process back in 2018. After seeing potential in a historic building in downtown Fargo, they sought out funding to purchase and renovate the building to turn it into a full-service restaurant and bar. In their quest for funding, they were referred to the North Dakota Small Business Development Centers (ND SBDC) and Paul Smith, Fargo Center Director for ND SBDC. He also assisted with their business planning and financial projections required for their loan application.
“The business plan and projections helped to create a road map for us as we start hiring and training staff and moving to opening,” said Shelby. “It was instrumental to us receiving a SBA loan… we would not be able to do a project of this size without it!”
They obtained an SBA 504 loan through their lending partner First Western Bank & Trust, and SBA’s partner, the Lake Agassiz Development Group. Thanks to the partnership with the ND SBDC, the business owners were able to purchase and renovate the century-old building and turn it into something special.
“I am grateful to have been involved in this project, which is a big part of the revitalization of this area on the northwest edge of downtown Fargo,” Smith said. “It has been exciting to see the unique vision of the owners take shape and the opening now just weeks away.”
The 701 team attributes their success to their team and the people who have been with them since the start of each restaurant opening. They plan to open 701 this spring, with soft openings scheduled for April. The owners are excited and ready to open their doors. Shelby said, “We hope the community will embrace 701 with all of its nostalgia, great food, drinks, and quirkiness!”