Restaurant Boom Hitting Williston

WILLISTON, N.D. – The Williston Herald recently had a front-page headline about Wendy’s coming to town.

At first I chuckled to myself that a new fast-food joint would be above the fold.

But then I realized they were right to place it there.

The lack of restaurants here is a complaint that comes up almost as much as the housing shortage.

Any new restaurant is front-page news.

I happened to be at the city meeting when a representative from Love’s Travel Stops said that a new truck stop would include a Wendy’s. That was the first thing I told my husband when I got home.

We rarely even ate at Wendy’s in Fargo, but I guess it’s just nice to know we’re going to have another option.

In the five weeks that I’ve been in Williston, several restaurants have either opened or announced plans to open. Check back here this weekend and you can read the stories behind two of them – Hawaii Fire Grill and an upscale restaurant and hotel called The Williston.

Mayor Ward Koeser has told me that citizens wanted to get more restaurants and retail stores for years, but Williston wasn’t big enough to attract them.

Now the city is finally getting inquiries from big box retailers and other companies. The lack of an available workforce and housing for those workers is holding some of the development back, but Koeser thinks more businesses are going to start making commitments.

Who knows, soon the Williston restaurant scene may even warrant a visit from the viral food critic Marilyn Hagerty.