MANKATO — The news of the downtown Buffalo Wild Wings impending closure spread fast Wednesday, and people were not happy about it.
“Great place before and after a hockey game! Sad news,” wrote Christopher Anderson on Facebook. “Thanks for the memories!”
Brooke Manthe had a couple of exclamation points of her own to share on The Free Press Facebook page.
“Nooooo. Not cool at all. I love Bdubs!!”
Owner Joe Frederick Sr. said the closure will come Aug. 14 at the end of a 20-year franchise agreement, but he declined to go into specifics about what factors resulted in non-renewal.
“We're closing due to circumstances beyond my control,” Frederick said. “There's a lot of factors involved.”
Some employees from the downtown location will be moved to Frederick's 9-year-old St. Andrews Drive Buffalo Wild Wings location. Frederick and his son, Joe Frederick Jr., also own a Buffalo Wild Wings in Hutchinson.
Gordon Awsumb, manager of Mankato Place, said he's known for some time about the possibility of the closure. He said there are a number of people interested in moving businesses into the space, but he is still taking applicants.
“We have lots of interest. (Buffalo Wild Wings) is a $2.5 million a year restaurant, so we have a number of folks quite interested,” Awsumb said.
Frederick said $2.5 million is inaccurate but didn't specify on the business' value.
Awsumb said Frederick's and Buffalo Wild Wings' departure from Mankato Place is completely amicable.
“I have great respect for Joe Frederick,” he said.
Over the past 20 years, the downtown restaurant has undergone several expansions and has been popular with people of all ages. Frederick said over the years he's had employees who went to Minnesota State University who are now doctors and lawyers coming into the restaurant with their kids.