Cincinnati wing chain eyeing Springfield

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The Springfield News-Sun will continue to provide unmatched coverage of restaurants and retail in Clark and Champaign Counties. For this story, the paper spoke to the chief executive officer of Buffalo Wings and Rings, based in Cincinnati, about their explasion plans.

A Cincinnati-based restaurant chain is eyeing potential sites in Springfield as it looks to add at least 15 new locations in the next few years.

Along with Springfield, Buffalo Wings and Rings is considering additional sites in Dayton, Columbus, Indianapolis, Louisville and Lexington, said Philip Schram, chief development officer for the company.

The national chain currently has about 45 locations, including Ohio restaurants in Centerville, Piqua, Monroe, Fairfield and Cincinnati. It also has locations as far away as North Dakota, Florida, California and 15 stores in the Middle East.

“Our number one priority is to continue to grow and increase our presence 100 miles around Cincinnati,” Schram said.

The chain expects to have 50 U.S. locations by the end of this year, and could have as many as 60 by the end of next year, Schram said.

No specific locations have been selected, but the chain is looking for a franchisee in the Springfield area, he said. It typically takes a year to find a franchisee and a year to locate and build the restaurant, so he estimated Springfield’s location could open by mid-2017.

Each restaurant typically has about 40 employees.

The restaurant chain has not yet had any talks with the city, said Stephen Thompson, code enforcement manager for Springfield. However, Springfield would be a good fit for the chain, Schram said.

“Springfield fits the model,” Schram said. “It’s the right size, it’s family-focused.”

The chain is currently building a restaurant in Warren County, and a franchisee who operates its location in Piqua is also looking at potential sites between Lima and Dayton, Schram said.

The chain opened in Cincinnati in 1984 and focuses on selling wings, sandwiches, wraps, salads and quesadillas. Schram and his business partners purchased the chain in 2005, according to the company’s web site.

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