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Buffalo Wild Wings

Ross Boissoneau - February 21st, 2011
Fly like a Buffalo… ‘Wild’ new restaurant earns its wings
By Ross Boissoneau
It’s not the wild wild west, but the wings at the newly-opened Buffalo
Wild Wings are indeed as wild as you want them to be.
That’s because you can choose from a bevy of sauces, ranging from mild to
blazing, each with its own special flavor.
Teriyaki? Check. Honey BBQ? Check. Parmesan Garlic, Caribbean Jerk, Mango
Habanero? Check, check and check.
Ranging from mild to Blazin’ – that’s actually one of the flavors, the
hottest one – the sauces are meant to complement the restaurant’s namesake
chicken wings.
And they must be on to something. Since its opening adjacent to the Grand
Traverse Mall on Feb. 7, the restaurant has been busier than its most
optimistic projections.
“It’s been a lot busier than we expected,” admitted Sarah Elling, the
restaurant’s general manager. In fact, she said the restaurant had the
best opening week of any of the franchisee’s locations. “The best had been
Marquette, and it opened in June,” she noted.

HIGH DEMAND
Elling, a 12-year veteran of the franchise who has worked for this
particular ownership group for over a decade, said the restaurant has
typically had a line during typical dining hours.
Not to worry though, as she said the staff has been able to keep up with
the demand and keep the waits manageable, both in line and at the table.
They try to get the food to the table in 13 minutes, and Elling says
they’re doing pretty well having thus far averaged about 17 minutes. The
longest anyone has had to wait has been a half hour, during the busiest
times.
And Elling said hardly anyone has minded the slightly longer wait.
“Everyone’s really excited,” she said. “I try to stay a minute at tables
(when visiting with guests), and I’m staying five to ten minutes. We
haven’t had many complaints.”
Given the excitement level that preceded the restaurant’s opening, that’s
perhaps not surprising. Then there’s the extensive menu, which gives
patrons a number of choices, from burgers to salads, ribs and wraps,
nachos, even French-fried pickle chips.
Or maybe it’s just the quality of the folks up north.
“The people here are the most polite people I’ve ever encountered,” Elling
said.

48 TVs
In addition to its extensive menu, Buffalo Wild Wings also offers sports
on TV. Lots of sports. Lots of TVs. Elling said they purchased 48
monitors, located throughout the restaurant. You can catch a couple
college basketball games, a replay of the Wings latest hockey game, maybe
wrestling, and of course a couple different ESPN broadcasts. Throw in
trivia and poker, played at your table with a Buzztime player, and other
games, and there’s certainly no lack of stimulation.
And if the guests are excited, so is Elling. Not only because of the
restaurant’s performance so far, but because she’s looking forward to its
sister restaurant opening soon.
“Bagger Dave’s (noted for its burgers and fries) is going to be opening
soon. I can’t wait.”
Much the way people here felt regarding Buffalo Wild Wings.

Buffalo Wild Wings is located next to M.C. Sports and CityMac, near Grand
Traverse Mall in TC. It’s open 11 to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, till
2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and from noon to midnight on Sundays.

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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