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Ballston’s Buffalo Wild Wings appears to be closing

Buffalo Wild Wings in Ballston (file photo)

It appears that the Buffalo Wild Wings in Ballston will close next month.

Earlier this month, a request was submitted to the county on behalf of the building owner JBG Smith to amend the site plan for the office building at 950 N. Glebe Road. In that request, it’s noted that the 7,318 square foot space on the ground floor of the building that currently is home to Buffalo Wild Wings is set to be vacated when the lease is up at the end of August.

“The [building] has never enjoyed strong street frontage for retail or restaurants, which led to lower sales for the existing tenant and contributed to their decision to vacate at the end of the lease in August 2022,” the statement of justification letter reads.

Upon learning of the restaurant’s intent to close, JBG Smith attempted to find a replacement tenant but was “unsuccessful.” In response, the developer is moving on and asking the county to add “retail equivalent uses” as a permitted use.

The hope is to turn the large space once home to the beer, wings and sports chain into an assortment of “lounges, conference rooms, co-working spaces, and a fitness center” as a way to “substantially upgrade the ground floor experience” for office tenants at 950 N. Glebe Road.

ARLnow has reached out to both Buffalo Wild Wings and JBG Smith to confirm the chain’s departure from Ballston. We’ve not heard back from either as of publication.

Ballston’s Buffalo Wild Wings opened a decade ago based in part on the success of the Crystal City location. It was expected to be one of the company’s top-performing restaurants in the country, per the regional manager at the time.

That does not seem to be the case, at least today. Recent reviews of the restaurant on both Google and Yelp say that it is often devoid of customers, that food items are frequently out of stock, and that the establishment is understaffed. A lack of customers has plagued many — though not necessarily all — restaurants on the western side of Glebe Road, as the Metro station entrance, plus most of Ballton’s businesses and foot traffic, are on the eastern side of the busy artery.

Overall, JBG Smith seems to be looking to spruce up 950 N. Glebe Road. The proposed updates include a 410-square-foot bump out for a fitness center, landscape changes, and an “indoor/outdoor tenant café-style area with operable windows,” along with more conference rooms and co-working spaces.

“These proposed amendments to Site Plan #331 will allow the [building] to compete in a struggling office and retail market,” the request says. “Securing new retail and office tenants during the uncertain economic environment of the last two years has proven difficult for the Applicant, especially given that it lacks tenant amenities (which are now proposed).”

Hat tip to Chris Slatt

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