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Maid-Rite building comes down; to be replaced by restaurant 'Novo'

MONTE DRAPER | BEMIDJI PIONEER The building that housed the Maid-Rite Cafe before it closed in May was torn down Tuesday. Lueken’s Village Foods has plans to build a new restaurant there called “Novo.”

BEMIDJI —The building that housed a longtime Bemidji restaurant was torn down Tuesday, as the new owners make way for another restaurant.

The Maid-Rite Cafe building, which was bought by Lueken’s Village Foods before the restaurant closed in May, was on the receiving end of a yellow John Deere excavator Tuesday. Lueken’s president Brent Sicard said they originally planned to renovate the building for a new restaurant.

“Our plans changed for it because we found it was more cost effective in the long run if we just built new,” Sicard said.

Sicard said he hopes to start construction on the new restaurant, named “Novo,” in the summer before opening in the fall. He said it will be located slightly north from the former Maid-Rite location, and will include some green space where there’s currently concrete.

While renderings of the new building were not available Tuesday, Sicard said, “I don’t know that there’s any building quite like it” in Bemidji.

Sicard described the menu as “contemporary American fare but with all fresh ingredients.”

He said some of the ingredients will come from the facility where Lueken’s will grow its own produce, which is currently under development at the south store.

“The restaurant will be one of the primary customers,” Sicard said. “So, a lot of the produce will be coming from there.”

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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