When Brian Flenniken moved with his family to May five years ago, he wished there was a Buffalo Wild Wings Bar and Grill in Brownwood.
It's Flenniken's favorite restaurant, but he figured there was little, if any, chance a Buffalo Wild Wings would open here. "I figured it was a fantasy," Flenniken said. "I didn't think Brownwood was big enough to be building one here."
Flenniken, who is band director in the May school district, is getting his wish. Buffalo Wild Wings has signed a lease to occupy a building on the east end of Commerce Square, delighting Flenniken and prompting Facebook comments from other Buffalo Wild Wings fans.
"That's really exciting for me," Flenniken said.
Flenniken even parked outside the building where the restaurant will be located and peered through a window. He did think it seemed on the small side for a Buffalo Wild Wings.
Representatives of the Buffalo Wild Wings corporate office in Minneapolis, Minn. have not returned calls for comment.
Kay Walker, senior leasing agent for Commerce Square owner Phillips Edison, said she could not provide a specific date for the scheduled opening but said it is expected to be in late 2013 or early 2014.
"We do have a lease signed. Everything is going good," Walker said.
Walker said there is "a lot of activity pending with national retailers" at Commerce Square. She said she could not divulge details.
Flenniken said his initial reaction, upon receiving a text from a friend about Buffalo Wild Wings in Brownwood, was "disbelief, actually. When I first heard it I thought, well, that can't be true."
Flenniken said he eats at Abilene's Buffalo Wild Wings when he's in that city, but he'd rather spend his money in Brownwood.
The Bulletin published an article on its website on June 28, and in its print edition on June 29, stating the Phillips Edison website showed a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant as one of Commerce Square's tenants. According to the website, Buffalo Wild Wings will occupy a 4,655-square-foot building which is currently empty.
On the Bulletin's Facebook page, several readers posted comments including:
"Don't play with my emotions." — Jason Priester.
"Kids love Buffalo Wild Wings. — Colin Yeilding.
"That's good news! A variety of restaurants is what we need." — Dredz Macasinag
"Loooove hot wings!" — Jennifer Campbell Hughes.
"Yay we need one here." — Jennifer Rogers.
"Yes please!" — Mary Kirstin Justice-Blanton.
"That will be nice, but still need an IHOP and Red Lobster or Joes Crab shack!" — Lori Watters Chancellor.