It’s known to its fans as “BW3” or simply “B-dubs.” And to the delight of many East coast and Midwest transplants, including Servicemembers who have been stationed around the country, the popular sports bar chain Buffalo Wild Wings opened in Tacoma on Monday. Of its more than 800 locations around the country, it’s the first in Washington State. Prior to its official opening, the restaurant had a
“soft opening” Oct. 28 to 30. Food for the weekend’s invitation-only guests was free, and alcoholic beverages were available for just $3. All proceeds from Oct. 28 and 29 were donated to the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Fisher House. “We want to support the military in any way we can,” said Manager Dan Banales. “Washington State doesn’t know us very well, but the military does.”
More than $1,400 was raised on Oct. 28 alone, Banales said, and he predicted he would end up donating at least $2,500 to the Fisher House. “It’s great they did a charity, that they came right in and are helping the community,” said Regina Sender, who stopped by Saturday with husband Brian and sons Connor, 3, and Gavin, 10. “We appreciate that a sports bar like Buffalo Wild Wings, which has a big military following, would think of the Fisher House when opening its new location,” said JBLM Fisher House Manager Jodi Land. “The money they raised for us will help Servicemembers when they need it most.”
The chain, which opened in Ohio in 1982 and is now headquartered in Minneapolis, is starting to expand to the west coast. Known for its “wings, beer and sports,” Buffalo Wild Wings not only features both traditional and boneless wings (with 20 sauce selections, ranging from Sweet Barbeque to Desert Heat), but also burgers, ribs, sandwiches, salads, wraps and more. Local sports memorabilia along with more than 30 flat-screen televisions adorn the walls, and several local microbrews are on tap.
Response to the opening was enthusiastic. “When I heard it was opening, I was excited,” said Ohio transplant and military spouse Natalie Schleupner. “I emailed by husband, who is very jealous that I was going to BW3 while he is deployed.” “And,” Sender said, “we need another boneless wing place besides Hooters.” Buffalo Wild Wings is located at 4219 S. Steele St., adjacent to the Tacoma Mall. Servicemembers receive a 10-percent discount with ID. For more information call (253) 473-7699.
By Melanie Casey