Dooney's Downtown Grille to open restaurant

By Jamison Cocklin


The space that was formerly Buffalo Wild Wings will soon be occupied by a new restaurant, where the new owners say their operation will open as early as July 20.

Chris Sammarone, Bryan Ridder and J.P. Daliman, all area attorneys, began their efforts about three months ago, when Ridder, who represented the former Buffalo Wild Wings owner, said it was becoming evident the restaurant would be forced to close as the result of unmet design requirements from the franchise.

“Knowing that, we thought it would be a good turnkey situation,” Ridder said. “The former owner simply could not find new property that met the demands of the franchise. At that point, we were able to reach an agreement on purchasing the assets and the liquor license.”

Dooney’s Downtown Grille, as the new restaurant will be called, will offer a menu simpler than Buffalo Wild Wings, but it will also be expanded to add pizza and Mexican entrees as well, Ridder said. The men are shooting for a “sports-bar concept.”

“We’re aiming for simplified Americana,” he added. “We want to gear it more toward the demographic we’ll be serving.”

In all, Ridder estimated that total renovations for the new restaurant will cost about $30,000, with plans for new carpet, new flooring and an upgraded audio-visual system, among other things.

Both Ridder and Sammarone said the situation is ideal because nearly all the former Buffalo Wild Wings employees will be returning to aid in the transition.

“We’re going to be keeping a lot of the former staff in place,” Sammarone said. “In particular, the general manager will stay on, and he’ll have a lot of input.”

Buffalo Wild Wings closed June 22.

Even still, Sammarone said the location, at 20 W. Federal St., was immensely profitable, which contributed to the decision to go forward with plans for the restaurant.

“I’ve been practicing law in Youngstown for a long time now, and there’s simply more people [downtown] today than there ever was before,” Sammarone said. “The number of people is generating some excitement, and I view this as not only a good investment for myself, but for Youngstown as well.”

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