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Buffalo Wild Wings coming to Bemidji

Buffalo Wild Wings is going to locate in the former Thrifty White location at 225 Paul Bunyan Drive NW. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

BEMIDJI – A new restaurant is coming to town.

Milo and Gayle Holderbecker, owners of the two Burger Kings and Qdoba Mexican Grill in Bemidji, plan to have their Buffalo Wild Wings franchise up and running by Aug. 31.

“We hope to open up by Aug. 31,” Milo Holderbecker said. “If everything goes well, we got all the OKs, got all the ducks in a row.”

Mayor Rita Albrecht and other city officials met with Holderbecker yesterday, where he disclosed plans for the project.

Rumors of a Buffalo Wild Wings opening in Bemidji have been circulating for a while.

Developers on Lake Bemidji’s south shore had planned to open a Buffalo Wild Wings attached to the Country Inn & Suites hotel, but that plan changed.

Holderbecker’s development is separate from the south shore project.

The restaurant will be located at the former Thrifty White location at 225 Paul Bunyan Drive NW.

“We bought the Thrifty White building a few months ago,” Holderbecker said. “And we’ve been working on getting a new restaurant in town.”

Holderbecker said he and his wife have been thinking about this for some time.

“We’ve actually been looking off and on at Buffalo Wild Wings for four or five years,” Holderbecker said. “We felt it was a very good concept for Bemidji and we feel that the menu is made of high quality products. We also thought the sports bar element would be a new concept for Bemidji. We also felt it would be an extremely good fit.”

Their son, Travis Holderbecker, is going to be an owner/operator, the elder Holderbecker said. Travis is currently going through a seven-week training program in the Twin Cities to prepare for the position.

Milo Holderbecker added they felt bringing the restaurant to Bemidji would also bring more job opportunities to the area.

The old Thrifty White building will not be demolished, Holderbecker said.

“We’re not going to tear down the Thrifty White,” Holderbecker said. “It will be a conversion with the existing building, bringing it all to Buffalo Wild Wings specifications.”

With the existing building, the overhang on the pick-up window area on the east side of the building will be taken away.

The restaurant will consist of a dining room and bar; a future development of a patio area is planned.

“It might contain a private party room,” Holderbecker said. “That’s a possibility.”

Also, because it will be a sports bar, it will feature many large HD flat-screen television sets.

A groundbreaking for the project is planned for the middle of June, according to Holderbecker.

Joe Froemming

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