This will mark the restaurant group’s ninth Buffalo Wild Wings in Delaware and Maryland, but its first in Milford. Notably, High 5 manages restaurants in coastal Delaware and many above the C&D Canal, but only two in Kent County.
“It’s a town on the rise, and it’s in definite need of a sports bar,” said Bobby Pancake, one of the co-founders of the Stanton-based restaurant group. “As we get out of the pandemic and people are looking for more ways to get out, there will be more people looking for ways to enjoy sports with friends. This is the perfect way to meet that customer base.”
The Milford Buffalo Wild Wings will be about 4,500 square feet with a patio, and will hire between 60 and 75 employees. High 5 will also open a liquor store on the same parcel, although an exact tenant has yet to be identified.
The restaurant may be opened this year, pending site work and lead time on materials, Pancake said.
The Buffalo Wild Wings will be built off Route 1, on Silicato Parkway, in one of the remaining lots in the highway commercial strip owned by developer Dennis Silicato. Grotto Pizza opened for business there last year, and construction on a medical office building recently completed. The Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Milford also opened last fall.
Silicato also has a long-standing business relationship with High 5. Pancake mentioned that the company has leased space from the developer for the Buffalo Wild Wings in Salisbury, Md.
Pancake said that the company had been working on the Milford location for years, but the COVID-19 pandemic slowed its progress.
“We were a little more cautious about deciding on what to do, but on the flip side, the time gave us a chance to think about our vision,” Pancake said. “In the next five to 10 years, we want to grow our brands within 100 miles of Christiana — as projects come available.”
Fitting neatly into that plan, High 5 acquired five Delaware franchise locations of Jersey Mike’s Sub Shops in December.
In 2012, Pancake set a group goal of owning and operating five different restaurant brands by 2020. Before the pandemic, they owned four, including eight Buffalo Wild Wing locations, an Eggspectation location and two independent brands, Stone Balloon in Newark and Limestone BBQ and Bourbon in Stanton.
“We could put three to four new locations in Kent and Sussex counties in the next couple of years. But it all depends on the right spot and the right idea,” Pancake added.