ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) - The Royal Oak City Commission has approved the transfer of a liquor license that makes way for a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant and bar to move in to the city's former Barnes & Noble bookstore.
The bookseller closed their large Main Street and Fifth Avenue location in April. Late last year, Vectorform, a software company, had announced it would move its headquarters into the second floor of the Barnes & Noble store space.
A Buffalo Wild Wings franchise is now slated to occupy the first floor of the old bookstore.
The building is a large space and the decision to allow a new restaurant and bar there did not come easily.
Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O'Donohue opposed Buffalo Wild Wings saying his department did not have the manpower needed to handle its customers, particularly the restaurant's expected teenage clientele.
Several residents from the neighboring SkyLofts Royal Oak also opposed the plan during the public comment portion of Monday night's commission meeting. They said other bars along Main Street and Fifth Avenue already have drunk and loud patrons disrupting neighbors each Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.
Some city commissioners and the developers behind the new restaurant stressed that Buffalo Wild Wings is more of a restaurant than a place that serves just alcoholic beverages. They said similar restaurants lead them to believe this location will make 81% of is money from food and just 19% from alcohol sales.
In the end, commissioners voted against the police chief's recommendation allowing the transfer of a liquor license that now paves the way for the Buffalo Wild Wings to move in to downtown Royal Oak,