By GREG STILES
National chain Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar, which specializes in chicken wings, plans to open a restaurant in Medford later this year in the Delta Center between Crater Lake Highway and the Medford airport.
It’s the second new sit-down, casual dining restaurant targeting the Delta Center in the past year. Texas Roadhouse is scheduled to open June 17, southeast of Sportsmen’s Warehouse.
Buffalo Wild Wings will be built just northwest of Sportsmen’s Warehouse, facing the south and situated near the planned bypass following the former Medco Haul Road. The project goes before the Medford Site Plan and Architectural Commission on June 7.
The 31-year-old chain, headquartered in Minneapolis, hangs its hat on “Wings, beer and sports.” With 516 franchised locations and 401 company-owned sites, Buffalo Wild Wings claimed $2.5 billion in systemwide sales during 2012, $1.04 billion in revenue and $57.3 million in bottom-line earnings. Over the past five years, the company has easily outperformed national casual dining trends.
Desmond McGeough of the Medford Planning Department said there will be nearly 300 seats, including patio seating. The family-oriented sports bar will have clusters of seats through the 5,979-square-foot restaurant, part of the company’s new prototype design with booth seating along the exterior walls.
There are nearly 920 Buffalo Wild Wings locations in 49 states and Canada. There are nine franchised restaurants in Oregon, including seven in the Portland area and one in Corvallis and Salem. One is in the works in the Gateway Mall in Springfield.
The company closely aligns itself with college football and sponsored 89 NCAA championships. Overall, 16,000 games played on Buffalo Wild Wings screens last year.
Chief Executive Officer Sally Smith announced in February that Buffalo Wild Wings expected to open 60 company-owned and 45 franchised restaurants this year. The long-term goal is to open 1,700 locations in the U.S. and Canada before expanding through overseas franchising.
In the first quarter of this year, Buffalo Wild Wings’ revenue grew 21.2 percent to $304.4 million, while bottom-line earnings slipped 10.2 percent to $16.4 million from $18.2 million.
Reach Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter@GregMTBusiness, and read his blog at mailtribune.com/Economic Edge.
This story originally appeared in Medford Mail Tribune.