State College

Buffalo Wild Wings plans put on hold

MCT

About a year after plans were first submitted to Ferguson Township, Buffalo Wild Wings has yet to break ground in State College. A projected start or open date, meanwhile, remains unavailable.

The proposed 5,440-square-foot restaurant off Blue Course Drive and North Atherton Street would include 241 seats, including 54 outdoor. The plans specify access points from both roads, with those going northbound on North Atherton having to turn left to enter the parking lot.

Ray Stolinas, the township’s director of planning and zoning, said the plans are still in a holding pattern due to pending traffic updates to the plans.

“The traffic improvements are not insurmountable,” he said in an email. “In fact, they mainly deal with pedestrian access to Blue Course Drive.”

Bohler Engineering, the design firm representing Buffalo Wild Wings, recently requested another file time extension “with full intent to address all outstanding engineering comments,” Stolinas added.

Neither Buffalo Wild Wings nor Bohler Engineering responded to interview requests.

Stolinas said Buffalo Wild Wings has not yet submitted a liquor license transfer request, a requirement for the “Wings. Beer. Sports.” company to serve alcohol. The transfer would need approval via a public hearing with the Board of Township Supervisors.

Stolinas said a resubmit and revision phase remains until the township’s planning commission can recommend to the Board of Supervisors.

According to Buffalo Wild Wings’ third-quarter earnings announcement, same-store sales fell 1.8 percent at company-owned restaurants and 1.6 percent at franchised locations, though total revenue increased 8.5 percent to $494.2 million.

In October, the company announced the hiring of three new independent directors to its board, and that two existing members would resign. In August, hedge fund Marcato Capital Management, which owns a 5.2 percent stake in Buffalo Wild Wings, told the sports bar chain it needed a more open dialogue with shareholders, Reuters reported.

Buffalo Wild Wings announced it expects to add 30 to 35 company-owned restaurants and 15 franchised locations domestically in 2017.

Roger Van Scyoc: 814-231-4698, @rogervanscy

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