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SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – It is something many in Shrewsbury have been dreaming about for quite some time, and now it is a reality at last, and the newest Buffalo Wild Wings readies for an exiting grand opening this weekend. Showing in advance their long standing commitment to the communities they serve, the management team made tickets available this week for a gran “pre-opening” event, held last night. Reaching out to the athletic departments in Shrewsbury and the surrounding towns, they donated tickets for last nights test run, which were sold for $20 each to benefit the programs at those schools. The demand was overwhelming, with Shrewsbury at least, quickly selling out their allotment of seats. From 6-8PM, supporters of local athletics were treated to a fantastic time, and made to feel truly special by each and every one of the team in attendance for these training sessions.
I was fortunate enough to be invited, and my son and I headed down at 6:30, anxiously anticipating what we would find. The facility itself was absolutely GORGEOUS!! Having spent quite a bit of time at Border’s, it’s honestly hard to believe that it’s even the same place. After purchasing the building last year, the franchise owners did a top to bottom renovation, occupying the northern half of the building for themselves, and leasing the southern half to a local tile company, schedule to open next week. By designing their restaurant in a front-to-back mode, they were able to take full advantage of the spectacular views to the West. No doubt this will be a true hot spot on 4th of July!
The interior finishes themselves are any sports lovers dream, and the screens are so huge, and so vivid, that it honestly may impact tickets sales at Fenway and Gillette, because this may actually be better than being there in person. The front area is set up with family tables, and then a huge bar sites in the center, with the bar table area to the rear of the building. THis will likely create a better environment than some local establishments, where you may find it hard to have a family dinner, while a bunch of somewhat exited people are drinking beer 5 feet away.
I think part of what makes this design work, and what will no doubt contribute to an easy opening weekend, is the vast experience of the staff, from the top of the organization to the bottom. You can tell immediately from the organized and calm demeanor, that these folks know what they’re doing, as well they should The franchise owners, J&K Wings are based out of Michigan, and currently own 38 Buffalo Wild Wings, as well as several other franchises such as Smashburger. As one of the largest franchise owners in the company, they have enough critical mass in their operation, to be able to bring in teams of trainers from their home base in Michigan, who will spend time working hand in hand with the on site team to ensure a flawless opening.
“We are very excited to bring Buffalo Wild Wings to the Shrewsbury area and surrounding community. Guests will enjoy great food, including our award-winning wings, spun in one of our 16 signature sauces and 5 seasonings. We have 36 beers on tap, including a large selection of Massachusetts brewed craft beers and dozens of big screen TVs for the ultimate sports viewing experience. Our free wings for a year giveaway is our way of introducing Buffalo Wild Wings to our loyal fans and families in the Shrewsbury area. This event has created quite a stir when we’ve opened in other communities, and we look forward to the same results here in Shrewsbury,” said Kent Ward, Owner, JK&T Wings, Inc., a franchisee of Buffalo Wild Wings®.
On to the food itself. The menu can be best described as a higher end pub menu, with a vast assortment of burgers, and of course wings. With each main item, you have the ability to mix and match a host of options, side dishes, and sauces. I ordered what turned out to be an amazing burger, which came dressed with pulled pork, onion rings, and BBQ sauce. It was perfectly cooked medium-well, (the waitress indicated that they won’t cook a burger anything rarer than medium-well, which was fine with me), and was still juicy and flavorful. Along with it, I had a side of what they called “buffalo chips,” which were basically thin round french fries, and they came with a spicy cheese sauce that was yummy. My son Sam had the boneless wings, with hot sauce, and said they were great. Both the appetizers and main meal came very quickly, and while I fully expected a few glitches, given that it was their first day, I didn’t see any of that at all. I spoke to one patron who said that their order had been messed up, but speaking for myself, ours was great. The service was top notch, and very attentive (at times too attentive, perhaps, to be honest..when trying to have a conversation, but I think that everyone’s just eager to please, and the ability to adjust to, and read the guest, will come from experience), but when in doubt I’ll happily take that over trying to find my waitress.
From the standpoint of atmosphere, it was a sports bar type setting. There was a Bruins game on all around, along with a host of other sporting events to watch. I will say, it was really loud, so if you’re looking for a romantic place to propose to your girlfriend, I’m not sure that’s the place…but if you all went to watch the Patriots game, have a great meal, and feel like you’re in a place where you can scream at every touchdown, then this is it.
In other news, they also plan on a great lunch menu, including a 15 minute lunch guarantee, for those who work in the area and have a limited lunch break. Thinking of having a big party at home? They have a catering menu just for you, and are happy to cook you up a feast for 20 or 200, or of course have you come on down and have a private party at the restaurant itself.
One thing to take note of is that getting a wonderful business like this to open here in Shrewsbury is really a fantastic thing, and a credit to the leadership here in town. Just look around at the staff, and you’ll see dozens of local students who now have jobs, thanks to the opening. According to representatives for the franchise owners, the town of Shrewsbury has been great to deal with, from beginning to end, and that underscores the great efforts we’ve been taking to attract more businesses to the local community.
This weekend, they are offering the first 100 guests a coupon book which will be good four a free order of wings each week for a year. If this opening is like their many others, it is expected that people will be sleeping out on the sidewalk tonight, hoping to be one of those lucky 100. Whether that’s you or not, I hope you’ll join me in welcoming them to the community, and stop on over to check out the host of fantastic offerings.