Downtown Buffalo Wild Wings location closes after 19 years

Construction is underway on the apartments that are going in above Buffalo Wild Wings’ old space at 1501 E. Cary St. (Mike Platania photos)

Amid the bustle of construction outside its front door and on its roof, a longtime sports bar has quietly closed.

The Buffalo Wild Wings location at 1501 E. Cary St. ended its 19-year run earlier this summer, franchisee Kevin Donham confirmed last week, noting that their lease is nearly up and they decided to not renew.

“The building and surrounding streets are under massive construction, so we felt like it was the right time to not renew and move on,” Donham said.

He’s referencing the 44 apartments being built atop Buffalo Wild Wings’ space. Margaret Freund’s Fulton Hill Properties owns the building and kicked off construction of the addition this spring.

The sports bar had been in Shockoe Slip nearly 20 years.

Freund redeveloped the former Philip Morris tobacco warehouse in 2002 into Canal Crossing and secured Buffalo Wild Wings as a tenant shortly after. Freund said she’s grateful to have had such a steady tenant for so long.

“It was a great run. You couldn’t ask for a better relationship,” she said.

In addition to the work to the building, the stretch of East Cary between South 15th and 17th streets has also been having its tarmac replaced by cobblestones, extending the cobblestones that had previously ended a block west. Though the street work makes access to Canal Crossing via East Cary more difficult for the moment, Freund said overall she’s excited it’s in the works.

Cary Street’s tarmac is being replaced with cobblestones between South 15th and 17th streets.

“(The city’s) basically extending the Slip. I think it’s going to be great. At the end of the day, it’s going to feel really different down there,” Freund said.

She added the former Buffalo Wild Wings space, which totals 7,500 square feet, will be marketed to another restaurant user. Gareth Jones and Jimmy Appich at JLL have the listing.

“Once we get it all beautified and we have 44 apartments upstairs and everything’s relet, we could talk to (Buffalo Wild Wings) and others like them about the space,” Freund said.

Donham, along with business partner Chris Carabell, is shifting his focus to Rusty Taco, the Texas-based taqueria franchise that they’ve opened in Short Pump and Chesterfield. Donham said they’re continuing to look for additional sites for more locations.

Construction is underway on the apartments that are going in above Buffalo Wild Wings’ old space at 1501 E. Cary St. (Mike Platania photos)

Amid the bustle of construction outside its front door and on its roof, a longtime sports bar has quietly closed.

The Buffalo Wild Wings location at 1501 E. Cary St. ended its 19-year run earlier this summer, franchisee Kevin Donham confirmed last week, noting that their lease is nearly up and they decided to not renew.

“The building and surrounding streets are under massive construction, so we felt like it was the right time to not renew and move on,” Donham said.

He’s referencing the 44 apartments being built atop Buffalo Wild Wings’ space. Margaret Freund’s Fulton Hill Properties owns the building and kicked off construction of the addition this spring.

The sports bar had been in Shockoe Slip nearly 20 years.

Freund redeveloped the former Philip Morris tobacco warehouse in 2002 into Canal Crossing and secured Buffalo Wild Wings as a tenant shortly after. Freund said she’s grateful to have had such a steady tenant for so long.

“It was a great run. You couldn’t ask for a better relationship,” she said.

In addition to the work to the building, the stretch of East Cary between South 15th and 17th streets has also been having its tarmac replaced by cobblestones, extending the cobblestones that had previously ended a block west. Though the street work makes access to Canal Crossing via East Cary more difficult for the moment, Freund said overall she’s excited it’s in the works.

Cary Street’s tarmac is being replaced with cobblestones between South 15th and 17th streets.

“(The city’s) basically extending the Slip. I think it’s going to be great. At the end of the day, it’s going to feel really different down there,” Freund said.

She added the former Buffalo Wild Wings space, which totals 7,500 square feet, will be marketed to another restaurant user. Gareth Jones and Jimmy Appich at JLL have the listing.

“Once we get it all beautified and we have 44 apartments upstairs and everything’s relet, we could talk to (Buffalo Wild Wings) and others like them about the space,” Freund said.

Donham, along with business partner Chris Carabell, is shifting his focus to Rusty Taco, the Texas-based taqueria franchise that they’ve opened in Short Pump and Chesterfield. Donham said they’re continuing to look for additional sites for more locations.

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Michael P Morgan-Dodson
Michael P Morgan-Dodson
1 month ago

Retail in the downtown area, and especially in the Slip and Bottom, continue to leave both national and local. So many storefronts up and down Cary St have been vacant even before Covid. This was a well run national establishment that except for slow service (due to not enough servers) was well liked especially by visitors. Given the huge retail whole left by LaDiff’s departure it looks like this space will be empty for sometime. The old Ship Lock space still sits vacant as well.