The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a lot of businesses, restaurants especially, to think outside the box to keep money flowing.
Noodlezip in downtown Bismarck is in the process of setting up an outdoor dining area as a way to bring in more business. Even though the weather is turning, the tent is enclosed and will have heaters as well as lanterns at every table. The other unique thing about the tent is the items on the menu will never be the same week to week.
“You might come here to eat ‘A’ the other day, I don’t want them to have the same experience. Then next time they come in here, I want them to have the ‘B, C and D’ so we can offer more variety and so I can keep them coming back without worrying about, ‘Oh, what am I going to eat there?'” said Owner and Chef Marty Lee.
But for this restaurant trying to make a comeback from the economic impacts of COVID-19, things just got a little worse.
Around 3 a.m. on Monday, a man cut a hole into the back of the tent and stole Lee’s air compressor along with some air hoses, nail guns and a staple gun. But Lee doesn’t want the man arrested. Instead, he just wants his tools back so he can finish the project.
“I’m sure there was a situation for him to take the stuff away, probably have some hard times in the financials too. So do we, and so do my employees. So if I can ask gently, I’m not going to do anything about it, I didn’t put the police reports anything. In a good heart, I’m asking if you bring the tools, I am not going to do anything against it. If you borrowed it for one day that’s cool too,” said Lee.
Even without the return of the tools, Lee says Noodlezip is still taking reservations for the outdoor dining area, but it would look much nicer if he had his equipment to do more work on it.