Nearly 500 people entered 2,000 names in a local name-the-restaurant contest to try to win $500, but the winning inspiration, "Fargo's," wasn't among them.
Fargo's was suggested by Don Brackin, the father of Doug Brackin, one of the restaurant's co-owners, and the prize money was donated to the Payson Lioness Community Christmas Food Drive.
Doug Brackin and Jeff Seivert, who own Fargo's in partnership with their wives, launched the contest in December.
"The response was fabulous," Brackin said. "About 500 people and 2,000 names were entered. One guy sent us 135 names."
But when it turned out the name they liked best was suggested by Brackin's father, who lives in Williams, Ariz., "We just decided to give the money to the ... food bank and call it good; everybody's a hero," Seivert said.
But it hasn't exactly turned out that way, Brackin said.
"We've gotten some calls, and some of these people (who entered the contest) are really (angry). I've had about eight calls over at the hotel," said Brackin, who is also the owner of the Majestic Mountain Inn, "and Jeff has had a couple at the restaurant."
Seivert and his wife, Joy, are co-owners of Payson's Country Kitchen and Ponderosa restaurants, in addition to another Country Kitchen in Globe.
Although Seivert, Brackin and their wives, both of whom are named Joy, were delighted by the response to the contest, many of the entries had the same theme, Brackin said.
"I'll bet we had 400 entries like Joy's Restaurant, Joy's Cafe, Joy's Bistro ... And we had another zillion names taken from trees: 'The Pinion,' 'The Juniper,' 'The Mesquite.' You name a tree in Arizona, it was entered in the contest.
"But the worst one, hands down, was 'The Restaurant.' I didn't think that was too creative."
When his father came up with the name "Fargo's," Brackin said he immediately liked it because "We owe Wells Fargo (Bank) quite a bit of money, and they're financing the restaurant. So why not call it Fargo's?"
According to Brackin, the 3,200-square-foot restaurant remains tentatively set to open for business May 1. Located directly between First American Title and the Chevron gas station on Highway 260, Fargo's will be a combination bar and lunch-and-dinner restaurant serving "American cuisine."