Buffalo Wild Wings is having its grand opening today for its new Winston-Salem location at 1110 Creekshire Way. The new location is less than a mile down the street from its previous location at 1045 Hanes Mall Boulevard, where it had operated from 2004 until Aug. 26 this year.
Opening day events include a 10:30 a.m. ribbon cutting by Winston-Salem city councilman Dan Besse; raffles for Panthers, Hurricanes and beer-festival tickets; and samplings from local breweries.
The reason for the move to the Shoppes on Little Creek shopping center was to allow room for the restaurant’s new design, the chain’s first since 2012. “This space has much higher visibility,” said Justin Ellis, a field marketing adviser for Inspire Brands, which owns Buffalo Wild Wings. It also has more room – 4,900 square feet in all.
Central to the new layout is a more prominent bar designed to serve indoor and patio customers. The new design also allows for VIP space for private parties and game watching.
Other aspects of the new design include new fixtures and floors, flexible seating areas and stadium-like audio-visual elements with LED modular screens.
The bar has an indoor sitting area on one side leading to an indoor/outdoor patio on the other side. The bar's countertop is made from recycled basketball courts.
“We used to always have our bars in the back, but now we’ve moved them right up front,” Ellis said. “The bar also has its own entrance.”
Buffalo Wild Wings is focusing on its craft beer selection. Its 30 taps include 12 reserved for N.C. beers.
The roofed patio has garage-style doors that can be opened if desired.
The indoor bar area has 13 multiple LED TV screens. They feature technology that protects against glare and also allows viewing from multiple angles.
Wall space not covered by TVs includes sports jerseys and photos from local sport teams.
Overall, the restaurant has about 50 TV screens, most of which are visible from any one spot, partly because of the new open floor plan.
“We want to make it more friendly for people watching games,” Ellis said. “People can get up and move around, get rowdy and enjoy the game.”
The audio system is designed that different games’ audio can be simultaneously turned up in different areas of the restaurant.
The MVP room, designed for private viewing and gaming, has gaming consoles, three TV screens and self-pour beer taps. The room, designed for about a dozen people, must be reserved in advance. It’s free but in busy times may come with a minimum tab requirement.
Like Popeye’s and other chains, Buffalo Wild Wings has just introduced a new chicken sandwich. The restaurant’s hand-breaded, beer-battered fried chicken sandwich ($11.29) is available three ways: Nashville hot chicken, Buffalo ranch or Southern (bacon aioli, Swiss cheese, slaw and pickles).
The restaurant offers Game Day Specials of $5 for 38-ounce pitchers and $9 for 60-ounce pitchers as well as $5 for such appetizers as mozzarella sticks, fried pickles and queso dip with chips.
Buffalo Wild Wings also offers Picks & Props “free gambling” through its app, in which customers can make game predictions and win such things as trips to Las Vegas and free wings for a year.
The bar offers Happy Hour specials all day, every day for drinks, and from 2 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. for select food items.
This is Buffalo Wild Wings’ only Winston-Salem location and it is company-owned. The nearest Buffalo Wild Wings is in High Point. Nationwide, Buffalo Wild Wings has 1,260 locations, split about evenly between company-owned restaurants and franchises.
Ellis said that the new design is part of the company’s plan to rebrand itself as a sports bar. “For whatever reason, we had slipped into being a casual-dining restaurant,” he said. “Now we are looking to re-enter as a true sports bar.”