Village Inn becomes ‘A.M. eatery’ by day, hosts events in evening

moorhead business news

Reza Sakaki, who purchased the Moorhead Village Inn in March, has transitioned it into an “A.M. eatery,” opening up late afternoons and evenings to host meetings and special events. (Photo/Nancy Hanson)

South Moorhead’s long-popular Village Inn has a new owner, a new concept, and new opportunities to host meetings and special events.

Since Reza Sakaki purchased the local family restaurant in March, regular customers have noticed some changes. One big one: Its hours have been adjusted. It is now open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., focusing on the breakfast, brunch and lunch crowd.

That shift is making way for a new initiative, Sakaki says. “We didn’t have a lot of traction in the evening, compared to earlier in the day, so we’ve become an ‘A.M. eatery.” It’s a change happening throughout the Village Inn system; newly opened locations will all follow that pattern.

At the same time, Sakaki’s Village Inn  received a city liquor license in June. The restaurant, he says, will not get into comprehensive liquor service. Instead, he plans to offer Bloody Marys and Mimosas as a complement to brunch; several lines of wine and a rotating choice of two domestic and seasonal beers will be on tap.

The license opens the door wide for the second facet of Sakaki’s plan – making the entire restaurant available for meetings, dinners and other private events in the late afternoon and evening. “We’re developing virtual concepts for the P.M. side,” he explains. Instead of a fixed menu, his staff will work with clients to put custom packages together to fit their budgets and tastes. He envisions hosting grooms’ dinners, retirement and graduation parties, and other private events. “They can have the whole restaurant seating 40 to 50 guests,” he notes.

The Moorhead restaurant will continue to offer evening meals when a cook is on duty – but only for delivery. Customers can order and receive their meals exclusively through DoorDash.

Some of the impetus for change has come from the purchase of the Village Inn system by Minnetonka, Minnesota-based BBQ Holdings. The company also owns Granite City, Famous Dave’s and Baker’s Square. The holding company is exploring other opportunities to maximize its capacity throughout the day; for example, in Maple Grove, Minnesota, they have added a Village Inn to their existing Granite City property, melding A.M. and P.M. service.

Though new to owning the Moorhead location, Sakaki is no stranger to Village Inn. He spent the past 10 years working with its former owner, Minot-based Hospitality Management, from whom he purchased the restaurant.

For more information on booking evening events, contact Sakaki at 952-412-5384 or email him at vi@ravingegg.com.

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