Changes continue to come to the Warwick Mall with a new restaurant finally taking shape and another popular restaurant beginning the process of coming to the state.
Driving on Route 5 past the construction site in the Warwick Mall parking lot, one can see that it is no longer just a dug-up, fenced-in area. The structure that will soon become Not Your Average Joe’s Kitchen and Bar is almost complete. The walls have been put up, and structural details, such as overhangs, are being completed.
“I think it’s an impressive building,” said Aram Garabedian, managing partner for the Warwick Mall. “It looks neat.”
Garabedian said construction on the new restaurant is all going according to plan and he still expects the establishment to be open before Christmas. However, he did not have an exact date for an opening yet.
The Not Your Average Joe’s website also lists the Warwick location as opening in December 2013.
Not Your Average Joe’s is considered to be a casual dining restaurant but with creative, inexpensive cuisine. According to their website, the restaurant was created by Steve Silverstein because he was looking for a reasonably-priced, great restaurant in the suburbs.
It was also announced recently that a second new restaurant, the popular chain Buffalo Wild Wings, would be making its way to Warwick in the near future.
The proposal for the project went before the Zoning Board and was unanimously approved on Aug. 13, and was recorded on Aug. 29.
Buffalo Wild Wings would go inside the Warwick Mall near the entrance to the Food Court, where the Chelo’s restaurant used to be located. Chelo’s never re-opened after the floods in March 2010.
Buffalo Wild Wings is a popular sports bar known for it’s 21 wing sauces and seasonings, large selection of beers on tap and being a place to go to watch large sporting events. According to their corporate website, Buffalo Wild Wings has won a number of “Best Sports Bar” and “Best Wing” awards since they were founded in 1982 in Ohio, and on Super Bowl Sunday 2013, the company served 8.8 million wings.
In addition to traditional and boneless style wings with flavors such as Parmesan Garlic, Asian Zing, Desert Heat, Salt and Vinegar and their signature Buffalo, Buffalo Wild Wings also sells burgers, flatbreads, sandwiches, salads and more.
Because the new restaurant would be going into an existing facility that was previously used as a restaurant, the proposal to the Zoning Board did not feature a great deal of information. No design plans or renderings have been released yet.
However, the proposal does include expanding the interior of the restaurant 895 square feet, taking space from the adjacent interior retail space, The Toy Vault.
There is also a proposed addition of seasonal outdoor seating for 40 guests. The outdoor patio would be 586 square feet and be fenced off in some way, but it would not extend past the existing sidewalk into the parking lot.
According to the proposal, the restaurant, which would be a total of 6,618 square feet with the expansion, is also seeking to have signage visible from Route 5, which is currently against a city ordinance for the area. However, the request for the increased signage was approved; a similar exception was also made for Not Your Average Joe’s earlier this summer.
Garabedian could confirm that Buffalo Wild Wings is coming to the Mall, however no target date for opening has been discussed or set.
“They are going through the permit process,” explained Garabedian, adding that they need various licenses approved such as a liquor license.
“We don’t jump the gun,” said Garabedian, in regards to announcing openings and new projects.
Traci Micheau, a spokesperson with Buffalo Wild Wings, said there is no target date for opening yet because construction is always unpredictable, but they are “anticipating” the new restaurant will open sometime in the first quarter of 2014.
Although there are over 925 Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants in 49 states and Canada, the Warwick location would be the first in Rhode Island and officially bring the well-known chain to all 50 states. Currently, the closest location is in North Dartmouth, Mass. Their website also says there are plans to expand the restaurant internationally in 2013 with locations in Mexico and the Middle East.
The Warwick location is also the first Not Your Average Joe’s restaurant in Warwick. The restaurant currently has 15 locations in Massachusetts, two in Virginia and one in Maryland.
Garabedian is pleased that the two restaurants coming to the Mall are new not only to the area, but to the state as it adds to the state’s already diverse food culture.
“The variety of restaurants in Rhode Island is huge,” said Garabedian.
And it may only be expanding. While he would not give specifics, Garabedian said even more changes could be in the works for the Warwick Mall but will only announce plans when they are official.