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Going 'Uptown': New Bowman restaurant offers food options, warm welcome to customers

BOWMAN -- Lisa Kromarek has never been a waitress. That changed after Kara Longland opened the Uptown Bar & Grill in Bowman. When Longland asked Kromarek, a local who works in the hotel industry, to be a waitress, she was a little apprehensiv...

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Press Photos by April Baumgarten At top, Uptown Bar & Grill owner Kara Longland, shown in front of the Bowman restaurant on Monday, opened the business in November shortly after Hawk’s Landing, which used to be in the same building, closed its doors.

BOWMAN - Lisa Kromarek has never been a waitress.
That changed after Kara Longland opened the Uptown Bar & Grill in Bowman.
When Longland asked Kromarek, a local who works in the hotel industry, to be a waitress, she was a little apprehensive, even scared, to take on the task, she said.
Kromarek’s verdict on working at the restaurant: She’s having a blast.
“I love it,” she said, adding she likes serving and pleasing her customers. “Now I’m happy with it.”
Uptown opened on Nov. 6, about two weeks after Hawks Landing, the previous restaurant in the same building on First Avenue Northeast, closed.
And like anything that is new in western North Dakota, Uptown drew a heavy crowd.
“It’s leveling out right now,” Longland said. “Of course, the newness was crazy.”
Most of the furniture was still in the restaurant, though Longland did make a few updates. She got what customers call “the Cadillac of salad bars.” She also ordered small light fixtures surrounded by antlers and new carpet. Longland agreed that the inside decor gives the restaurant a local, western feel.
A restaurant that stays open later is something that Bowman needs, Longland said. The kitchen is open until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and until 8 p.m. on Sunday.
“There were several days and nights where everywhere else was closed,” she said. “Tourists and people coming through would say, ‘There is nothing to eat in this town,’ and there wasn’t.”
The menu, which can be found on the Uptown Facebook page, has a range of items. Customers can order breakfast at any time of day, sandwiches, burgers, wraps, pasta, fish and beef entrees. And prices appear to be reasonable, something Longland made sure of, she said.
“I try to keep them as low as I can.”
Bowman is at the crossroads of U.S. Highway 85 and N.D. Highway 12, making it an optimal pit stop for tourists and travelers, City Commission President Lyn James said, adding she is happy to have a restaurant like Uptown in the city.
“We’re far enough away from the larger cities that you don’t just run to Dickinson for your groceries or to eat lunch,” James said. “We’re far enough away that it allows us to keep our business district strong and vital.”
Even if the pace at Uptown has slowed a bit, there is still plenty of business, Longland said. Back dining rooms are often reserved for meetings and parties.
“That back room stays pretty busy,” she said.
Longland said she does not only want to offer Bowman a place to eat late; she wants to offer a quality product and excellent service.
With a charbroiler and about 15 employees - all of whom were smiling as they greeted guests on a recent afternoon - she said it appears she is getting the job done.
“Everybody says that it smells so good, we can smell it throughout town,” Longland said, adding most have said the service and food are great.
Even though Bowman is in the far southwest part of the state, community members support each other well, she said.
“The community has been my biggest supporters,” Longland said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better community to stand behind me.”

Baumgarten is the news editor of The Dickinson Press. Contact her at 701-456-1210.

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