Published January 31, 2013
Wings restaurant being built in west OlympiaROLF BOONE
A restaurant known for its chicken wings is coming to Olympia’s west side in May, while a similar business in Lacey has closed. Construction has started on the home for a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant at 1616 Black Lake Blvd. SW, near Trader Joe’s. Native New Yorker, a restaurant at 4441 Pacific Ave. SE that also touted its buffalo-style chicken wings, has closed, according to a note attached to the front door. “Effective immediately, this Native New Yorker has regrettably closed,” the note states. “We thank the entire community of Lacey for its patronage and support.” Owners Tom and Debbie O’Neill, who opened the business in September 2011, could not be reached Wednesday. Buffalo Wild Wings, a Minneapolis-based chain of restaurants, is set to open in a 7,000-square-foot building with parking for 65 vehicles, Olympia associate planner Catherine McCoy said. Jay Dowed, regional manager for Buffalo Wild Wings, said the new location is tentatively set to open the week of May 13. It will employ 120, he said. Buffalo Wild Wings also has locations in Lynnwood, Federal Way, Puyallup and Tacoma. A location in Marysville is set to open in June, Dowed said. The restaurants are known for “wings, beer and sports,” he said, and also come adorned with more than 60 TVs. “We play the sound for any sporting event and get any sporting event,” Dowed said. “If you came in and wanted to watch Chelsea (football club) soccer, we would put it on.” This is the third restaurant to occupy the Black Lake Boulevard site since 1978, according to Thurston County Assessor’s data. First was a Vip’s restaurant, followed by Denny’s and then America’s Diner, which is thought to have closed last March. Denny’s occupied the site for years. The addition of Buffalo Wild Wings adds to an already-busy corner of the city. Trader Joe’s opened its first Olympia store there in August 2009, followed by the Great Harvest Bread Co. next door. Barnes & Noble is nearby. Retailers covet the area because Black Lake Boulevard and Cooper Point Road is considered the city’s busiest intersection. The Native New Yorker site also has had its share of turnover, but with greater frequency. Lone Star Kitchen opened there in 2005, followed by Red Bike Dueling Piano Bar & Restaurant in spring 2009. Red Bike closed in early 2011 and was replaced by Native New Yorker that fall.