November 29, 2014 – Joseph S. Pete
A line wrapped around the building when a popular casual dining restaurant opened at Hammond’s Oxbow Landing, a major redevelopment project just north of the Little Calumet River.
Buffalo Wild Wings just opened a 7,000-square-foot eatery which features the chain’s new “stadia” concept, a first-in-Northwest Indiana design that makes the restaurant’s interior look like a sports stadium. The fast-growing sit-down restaurant, known as BW3s and for its “wings, beer, sports” motto, now has more than 1,025 restaurants nationwide.
The Minneapolis-based sports bar and grill chain invested $2.4 million in the Hammond location, which employs about 60 workers.
“I was trying to count the TVs, and it’s north of 40,” Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott Jr. said. “There are two humongous televisions in the middle where the bar is. It’s really, really cool all around. Anyone from the region who wants to see a game should head to this BW3s and get there early … Hammond residents are going to show this BW3s loyalty, and they’re going to make it very successful in Hammond.”
The new Buffalo Wild Wings is located at 2942 Carlson Drive, on the southeast corner of Kennedy Avenue and Interstate 80/94.
Hammond has been redeveloping the former site of the River Park Apartments, which city officials said had a disproportionate number of police and fire calls. The city purchased the property by the Carlson Oxbow Park in 2006, razed the apartments, and embarked on a redevelopment project on prime land just off one of the busiest highways in the Midwest.
The city removed the sound walls along the highway to ensure Buffalo Wild Wings and other businesses are more visible. The 23-acre Oxbow Landing site also will be home to a four-story 100-room Hampton Inn and the homegrown Byway Brewing Co.
“There was a lot of interest from BW3s and others in taking down the sound walls, so we appealed to INDOT and they allowed it and we want to thank them for that,” McDermott said. “You can throw a rock from 80/94 and hit it. It’s one of the busiest stretches of highway in the Midwest. It’s high-profile, perhaps more so than Cabela’s because only the bank of Cabela’s faces the highway while all of Oxbow Landing can be seen from the highway.”
The heightened visibility has piqued more interest from restaurants, McDermott said.
Anyone who’s interested in locating a business at Oxbow Landing should call Hammond City Hall at (219) 853-6302.