Andrew Ginakes

Walk with the Dead: Fargo's Riverside Cemetery

Andrew Ginakes

Fargo, North Dakota 58105, United States

Created By: North Dakota State University


Was Andrew Ginakes a prohibition criminal?

Andrew D. Ginakes came from Greece around 1915. His 1917 World War I draft card lists him as 21, single, not living with his parents, meduim height, medium build, working as a soda jerk and having a crippled arm. He was drafted into the 166th Depot Brigade at Camp Lewis, near Tacoma, WA. He was dicharged in March 1919.

Beginning in 1927, Fargo City Directories show Ginakes as owner of chocolate shops on the first, second, and fourth blocks of Broadway. That's a lot of chocolatiers for a town of 22,000 people.

Minot's city directory shows that a branch of Ginakes Bro. Confectionry opened in 1930. We know from other researc on "Rum Running" that Minot was often a drop point for alcohol coming in from Canada. Some Minot police tried to befriend smugglers in a failed attempt at undercover work.

Back in Fargo, the 1932 city directory shows Andrew as president of the Golden Maid Cafe, which had been opened in 1925 by a fellow greek immigrant. In 1936, Ginakes applied for one of the first liquor licenses in Fargo for the Empire Cafe, conveinently at the same location as the 424 Broadway chocolate shop, to sell alcohol in store. Archival records state that in 1943, Ginakes transitioned the property into the Empire Liquor Store.

Ginakes sold The Empire in 1947, but it still flourishesin its original location on the 400 block of Broadway to this day, with the liquor store still attached. Did he retire due to age, to wealth, or due to a premonition he didn't like about Fargo's future with alcohol?

What do you think? Did a man who started as a soda jerk with a crippled arm from Greece really run chocolate shops and cafes in Fargo and Minot or did he build "The Empire" he held in North Dakota another way?


  1. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.
  2. “Fargo History Project » Bootlegging.” Accessed November 28, 2016.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Walk with the Dead: Fargo's Riverside Cemetery


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