Days before the Super Bowl, it's a touchdown for Buffalo Wild Wings in Riverhead.
According to Grace Kelly-McGovern, spokesperson for the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, final approval allowing the new restaurant to openwas granted on Tuesday.
"The restaurant can open immediately once approved. DHS was waiting for the final 'as built' plans, which we received yesterday," Kelly-McGovern wrote in an email to Patch.
Joe Loewenstein, assistant general manager of the new Riverhead location, said so far, he hadn't heard from DHS. "We haven't gotten confirmation yet," he said Wednesday.
For weeks, eager customers have been waiting for news of the big opening. In December, the opening
was delayed, according to general manager Andrew Schuett.
While he assured that the business would still open, the new opening date had not yet been determined at that time, he said.
At least one resident, who asked not to be named, was upset about the delay.
"The customers lined up for their chance to win a year of free wings but were turned away," the resident wrote.
But according to Schuett, "There is no validity to that statement." Schuett said the first 100 customers to line up did, in fact, receive their year of free wings — and only those who came after the first 100 were told they had already reached 100 guests; those that came later still received coupons, he said.
Riverhead resident Louise Wilkinson said she got her free wings for a year, as did two others with her — and all the other wings fans she met in line.
"We were at Buffalo Wild Wings the day they were supposed to open," she said. "Everyone on line got their wings coupon. And the guy was so sweet and helpful. Workers were also allowed in and were sitting at tables and at a training when we went in to pick up our booklets."
A staffer came out very 15 minutes or so to distribute the coupon books to whoever added the line, she said. "It was organized and pleasant," she said.
The free wings for a year came via a coupon book, with a coupon for six free wings per week; with a coupon for every week; the book even has a magnet on the back so it can be hung on a refrigerator, she said.
Schuett said he would announce the new opening date as soon as it has been determined. "We're happy to be in Riverhead," he said. "The town has done everything to accomodate us in the best way possible."
The new Buffalo Wild Wings will be located in the shopping plaza on Route 58 where Dick's Sporting Goods, Five Below, and the Christmas Tree Shops andThat! recently opened their doors.