I had heard rumblings among the small but close-knit service industry folk in Downtown Fargo. Eric and Sara Watson were looking to sell, but it wasn’t until this morning that a phone call and email were sent my way and I was informed of the new changes to come.
The new owner, Taylor Snelling, currently the general manager, is taking the helm and is prepared to steer the ship that the Watsons built.
For six years Mezzaluna has been the flagship for downtown fine dining. Its aesthetically appealing interior and chic niche is so date-worthy, and the food is so beautifully plated and served that you feel as though you’re a part of an elaborate tasting menu planned by Bon Appetit.
While ownership is changing, the overall operations will stay primarily the same. Taylor wants to maintain the legacy that the Watsons started. He will no longer be the general manager and a current employee will be moving into that role. Who that will be has yet to be announced, but he assured me that it will be someone that is apt for the job and who shares the same vision.
For Taylor, this feels like a dream come true. He would never have thought at the age of 26 that he would be the owner of a restaurant, and when the anxiety hits he has to remind himself that we must navigate our timeline any way we can; it’s all one step at a time. Of course, his familiarity with the establishment helps and so does his wife. It was very clear when we were chatting that she will also play a very integral part in the ownership.
The new head chef will be the current sous chef, Joseph Brunner. There may be gradual changes in the food menu, but no overly dramatic changes in the near future. Taylor’s faith in Joseph is unbounded and the team will be working together to meet and exceed the culinary expectations of the public. Taylor expressed that he needed a chef that was invested in the establishment and who wanted to grow as the restaurant does. He sees great things in the future with the culinary relationship that exists.
Mezzaluna is in great hands with Taylor and the staff that have made the restaurant what it is. The experience in his position as the general manager has provided him with a guide to what could be very rough beginnings. He also has the faith and friendship of his current staff, who he considers family. This will aid in the transition and garner a better result, in comparison to an outsider trying to take the wheel.
Exiting Mezzaluna after talking with Taylor inspired faith in the young business owners who seem to be popping up in the downtown area. It’s almost unheard of to own a successful restaurant at such a young age, but there is a trend in town with young people taking chances and making things happen. I am excited to be part of a fresh ever-changing economy, and I look forward to watching these individuals and celebrating their successes. Cheers!
YOU SHOULD KNOW
309 Roberts St N, Downtown
Tue-Sat, 5-11pm; Sun & Mon closed
701-364-9479; menu: www.dinemezzaluna.com
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