PLATTSBURGH — Wings. Beer. Sports.
That’s the attraction as a Buffalo Wild Wings franchise comes to Plattsburgh.
The new restaurant is scheduled to open at 200 Consumer Square on Monday.
Franchise owners Martti Matheson and Aaron Miller were there Thursday as staff, dressed in referee-themed jerseys, went through training. They have hired 123 employees from all over the North Country.
The restaurant has seating for about 240 people — a mixture of tables, booths and bar seats.
An outdoor patio that will be enclosed and heated in winter can seat about 50. That makes an ideal spot for teams to get together after a game, Matheson said.
The open design of the main dining areas allows customers to move tables together to accommodate the size of their group.
“They are welcome to stay as long as they want,” he said.
More than 50 flat-screen televisions are spread throughout the restaurant, all controlled through an audio-video system that cost more than $100,000.
The satellite television system includes every major sports package. There is even a 160-inch screen reserved for the game of the day and pay-per-view events.
Miller, who played hockey for four years at the University of Vermont, 15 seasons in the NHL and earned a silver medal with the U.S. Olympic Team in 2002, is in charge of memorabilia.
Sports-themed collectibles are scattered throughout the restaurant, including items from local programs, among them hockey teams at SUNY Plattsburgh.
The bar features 30 beers on tap, including a number of local favorites. One tap handle can be programmed to light up when a certain team scores.
Buffalo Wild Wings features nucleated beer glasses that allow CO2 bubbles to form and continually release, which helps the brew keep its head longer, the franchise owners said.
The chain is known for its award-winning chicken wings, which are fried fresh, never frozen, and come in 21 flavors of sauces and dry rubs.
Buffalo Wild Wings also offers burgers, chicken sandwiches, pulled-pork sandwiches, popcorn shrimp, chicken tenders, wraps, salads, appetizers, flatbreads and sides such as french fries, onion rings and mac and cheese.
There is a takeout section with its own designated computer stations. The chain’s sauces and dry rubs are also available for purchase.
The partners are hosting an invitation-only fundraiser for Plattsburgh Youth Hockey from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday. That will also serve as a trial run for the staff.
Matheson and Miller said they are is committed to support of youth sports in all of the communities where their franchises are located.
MORE TO COME
The partners met as roommates at UVM in the late ’80s. Miller went on to the NHL, and Matheson started a number of businesses in Vermont.
Matheson said he first toyed with the idea of developing a sports-themed restaurant in the late 2000s. He learned of Buffalo Wild Wings soon after, which was also around when Miller retired from hockey.
They eventually pitched themselves as franchise owners at the Buffalo Wild Wings corporate offices in Minnesota and were fortunate enough to meet the company’s criteria.
They opened in Burlington in 2010 and later added locations in Concord, N.H., and Southington and Waterbury in Connecticut.
They hope to open one in Chicopee, Mass., next year and have an agreement with the company to open up to eight, in all.
The partners are very pleased with the new Plattsburgh location, especially the amount of traffic that moves through the plaza. The mix of stores there really fits their preferred demographics, Matheson said.
They appreciated the efforts on their behalf by the Town of Plattsburgh, including Supervisor Bernie Bassett and the town’s Planning and Zoning and Codes Enforcement departments.
“The town has been the best town to work with of any town we have developed in,” Matheson said.
Buffalo Wild Wings is scheduled to be open from 11 a.m. to midnight Sundays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Miller said they offer a family-friendly atmosphere.
“This place is a lot more than a bar,” he said. “We certainly want people to come in and check it out.”
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