CUMBERLAND — Buffalo Wild Wings, a sports-themed eatery, will be locating on Winchester Road in LaVale at the site currently occupied by Ponderosa Steakhouse.
"People should be seeing demolition of the existing Ponderosa in the next two or three weeks," said Bill Valentine, Allegany County Commission president.
Valentine said the steakhouse is expected to be relocated to Keyser, W.Va.
"Buffalo Wild Wings should be under construction by the end of the month. It will be a nice addition and a different style than we have there (LaVale) now," said Valentine.
Representatives for Buffalo Wild Wings are in the process of securing a class "D" beer, wine and liquor license transfer.
Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Buffalo Wild Wings is a casual dining sports bar franchise with about 1,100 restaurants in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Philippines. Specializing in chicken wings and sauces, the first Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant opened in 1982.
Allegany County has seen a recent surge in commercial activity in the past 12 to 24 months, particularly in the restaurant and hotel sectors. A Cracker Barrel restaurant is also currently under construction in LaVale beside CVS Pharmacy on Campground Road near National Highway.
"There is more to come," said Valentine. "We are starting to run out of land to redevelop. We are getting to the point where we will be starting to open some new developments."
He said other commercial ventures may not all be in LaVale, with some likely to be located in Cumberland and Frostburg.
In addition to hospitality, the county would like to draw tech businesses. Valentine said creating a strong workforce is the key to drawing firms in the technology field.
"We need a better trained workforce to bring technology businesses in. Our scholarship program will help and we are developing a new website planned to help companies and interns to connect. We want to retain some of the graduates in the area," said Valentine.
The county is working with The Greater Cumberland Committee and local college officials to establish an online regional internship job bank. Beginning in 2013, a portion of the revenue from the Rocky Gap Casino and Resort has been donated to Allegany County to establish college scholarships for eligible students attending Allegany College of Maryland and Frostburg State University.
Follow staff writer Greg Larry on Twitter @GregLarryCTN.