Local Business: Front Street

Local Business Spotlight: A look at Fargo’s small businesses and the people behind them.

Featuring: Front Street Taproom & Aaron Templin
By: Dane Johnson, Folkways Editorial Board

Front Street has 30 North Dakota and Minnesota beers on tap

Front Street has 30 North Dakota and Minnesota beers on tap

In retrospect, it seems fitting that Front Street Taproom’s founder, Aaron Templin, would open a drinking establishment of his own.

But that route wasn’t always so clear.

It wasn’t until March of 2016, when Aaron left a six-year post he’d held within Scheels Arena’s Food and Beverage Department, that he began to explore what else might be in store for his vocational life.

Setting aside time to plan for the future, he and his wife, Lindsey, travelled to St. Petersburg, Florida, for a reflective vacation.

While on the trip, they encountered a flourishing craft beer culture.

They were particularly impressed with a taproom called Hops & Props; an establishment that focused on serving the best craft beers in the region rather than brewing its own. An idea sparked, and Aaron began envisioning the concept at work in Fargo.

For the rest of their vacation, he and Lindsey were developing a business plan.

Once they touched back down in Fargo, they hit the ground running, fully committed to see their idea come to life.

Aaron and Lindsey were young when they started building out the business – 28 and 25, respectively – and Aaron said that they got used to being told no when seeking investments for their venture.

“It was harder than I anticipated to have people give you cash for a dream,” Aaron said. “There were a few times when we were close to giving up.”

Fortunately, entrepreneurship wasn’t entirely new to the Templins, as he and Lindsey had launched Roots Salon, located in Dilworth, MN, a year and a half prior. And, with Aaron’s formal education in accounting, they were confident their business plan made financial sense.

Eventually, they were able to secure the investment needed to start.

Since inception, Aaron believed the business would be most successful nearer to downtown. He expressed excitement about the home it has found on Broadway and Main Ave.

“We’re in the heart of the Old Downtown,” he said. “Still on the outskirts, but where [Downtown] is going to.”

When asked how other restaurant, bar and brewery owners reacted to his business’ arrival in Fargo’s scene, Aaron said that he has received nothing but support.

“I knew a lot of the guys in Fargo because of my time working at Scheels arena,” he said, specifically noting his working relationship with Mark Bjornstad of Drekker Brewing Co. and Aaron Hill of Fargo Brewing Company.

“When I approached them about this idea they were all for it, you know, supporting local beer. 
We’re trying to get more people to drink craft beer, in general, and that makes the base bigger for everybody. A rising tide lifts all boats.”

When concepting Front Street Taproom, the Templins were intentional about creating a place where they would want to hang out. In doing so, they designed an outing option that wasn’t yet available in Fargo. 

“Most places are primarily restaurants – or it’s a club; or it’s just a big drunk-fest for college kids; or it’s dive bars,” Aaron listed. “Then there’s the taprooms.”

As a taproom, one of the benefits of not having to brew the beer, he shared, is that it allows for more time to develop their beer selection.

“It’s a tragedy to see people drink such sub-par beer in such large quantities,” Aaron stated.

As a solution, Front Street Taproom boasts 30 tap lines all featuring beers sourced from within North Dakota and Minnesota.

In addition to a variety of local craft beers, they are convinced that daily events will be a key to their success in the Fargo community. So far, they keep their schedule full with trivia nights, a weekly guest DJ, music performances, and private party reservations.

With Front Street Taproom now open for business, Aaron is faced with new challenges, primarily one he’s responsible for creating: resisting the urge to drink great beer all day.

You can learn more about what’s on tap by visiting Front Street Taproom’s Facebook page.  

Posted on December 2, 2016 and filed under Local Business.