Urban 42 Kitchen and Bar is one of the newest additions to the Fargo/Moorhead restaurant scene. Many will be familiar with the former Basie’s Restaurant and Lounge, a popular eatery that was in what was then the Ramada Plaza Fargo Hotel. That hotel was recently transformed to the Marriott Fargo, a change that included a new restaurant. If you were a fan of Basie’s, chances are high that you will enjoy Urban 42 even more.
Urban 42 is a modern restaurant with a chic, trendy flair. It has been described as somewhere between fast casual and fine dining. Head Chef Tom Collins has been with Marriott for over 30 years. Originally from Baltimore, Collins brings an ethic he describes as “learn all you can and have fun doing it.” “I just like to see people smile when they enjoy good food and good company,” he said.
The key change to a new restaurant includes a revamped menu. “The inspiration for the new menu was comfortable, modern American style with great flavor and presentation full of bold tastes,” Collins explained. “My personal favorite on the menu is our great crab cakes. They’re made with a lot of love.”
General manager Jason Lunblad also brings decades of restaurant experience to Urban 42. “I started working for a private club in town when I was only 15 years old. I loved the fast pace and the customer interaction,” he said. “I knew from a very young age that I would make this my lifelong career.”
Like Collins, Lunblad is excited about everything that Urban 42 will bring to Fargo. He believes customers will quickly come to appreciate the new design and atmosphere. “The concept of Urban 42 really matches the community which we are proud to be a part of,” he explained. “It mixes the rural feel with those big city urban touches. This really shows in the design when you first walk in and see the gray and black subway tiles in the lounge to the reclaimed wood on the floors and wall.”
Fans of Basie’s will appreciate the subtle ways in which the former restaurant has influenced the new restaurant. “We still serve our longtime favorites like our whiskey and crab bisque, as well as our great steaks we were known for,” Lunblad explained. “We also added some great dishes like our 42nd Street barbecued shrimp, as well as some fantastic small plates like calamari, tuna poke, and classic crab cakes.”
Take a popular restaurant from the past and add a hip new concept that is community focused. What could be better? “Our whole concept was to create a destination bar that our hotel guests and local customers alike would love,” Lundblad said. “From our handcrafted craft cocktails to our local craft beer program, we wanted to showcase our local community.”
Urban 42 is open daily from 6:30 am to 10:00 pm Sunday through Thursday and 6:30 am to 11:00 pm on Friday and Saturday. They also serve a special Sunday brunch from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm. If you have never been to Urban 42, now is the time to check it out. “I would encourage you to stop by and see for yourself how fun our concept is,” Lunblad said. He is confident you will like what you find. “Our number one goal is to provide a laid-back, fun environment with expert mixologists and first-class service.”
For more information on Urban 42 including a full menu, visit urban42fargo.com.
By Jamee Larson