Navarre wing lovers went on an emotional rollercoaster last week when District 4 Commissioner Rob Williamson’s announced Aug. 19 that a $2.5 million Buffalo Wings & Rings restaurant was coming to Navarre. The announcement on his Facebook page included a “thank you” to Santa Rosa County and the Holley-Navarre Water System for their part in bringing the chain to Navarre.
However, when Navarre Press contacted restauranteur Glenn Schaible that evening, he said the announcement was “a bit premature.”
“No decision has been made,” he said. “The site in Fort Walton Beach is still in play.”
When asked if going before the water board for a lower tap fee was a negotiating tactic, Schaible said “no.”
At Tuesday night’s Holley-Navarre Water System meeting, prior to Williamson’s announcement, Schaible presented bills from the same franchise in Ohio and Florida. The bills convinced the board to lower the initial tap fee from $198,000 for his proposed 218-seat restaurant to $130,000, with the promise that it would be re-evaluated after two years.
With the new incentives from the water board, the tap fee was reduced again by 50 percent to $65,000.
Billed as a “sports restaurant,” Schaible told the water board that his establishment is not to be confused with “a bar” and will close before midnight. Schaible said the restaurant would have a minimum of 65 employees and he hoped to begin construction this fall and be open by the spring of 2016.
Williamson later told Navarre Press he was told by two “to be unnamed” Holley-Navarre water board members that the restaurant was a done deal.
In 2012, Schaible looked into opening Lenny’s Sub Shop in the Navarre Family Eye Care building, but said the $68,000 tap fee bill originally quoted him was unacceptable. Using water bills from other Lenny’s locations, Schaible was able to negotiate the tap fee down to $11,000. However, Schaible never opened a Lenny’s in Navarre.
Schaible and an agency for Buffalo Wings & Rings told Navarre Press that a decision on the final location is expected this week.
“We are trying to get the final specifics for both sites to make our determination,” Schaible said Monday.
As seen in the Aug. 27 of Navarre Press. Subscribe online – HERE.