New "Spot" to open just off University Boulevard
A new, University Boulevard-area restaurant specializing in Buffalo chicken fries will hold a soft today in the space formerly occupied by Cup It Up.
The Buffalo Spot, located at 760 N. Tyndall Ave., opens Tuesday, May 15. Jamie Standage, who co-owns the franchise with her husband Dave, said a more formal opening will happen in August.
"We were hoping to open before school ended," this Spring semester Standage said. "We'll have a grand opening when students get back for the Fall, a Chamber of Commerce opening and everything."
In the meantime, The Buffalo Spot will be serving ribs, bone-in and boneless wings, salads, and of course, the eponymous dish the establishment is known for: Buffalo chicken fries.
"It's a new take on wings," Standage said. "It's a bed of fries, overlayed with boneless chicken wings that you have 14 sauces to choose from — I don't even remember them all — and drizzled with our chipotle-ranch dipping sauce."
The Standages' The Buffalo Spot will be the third location for the franchise outside of California, and the first of what they hope is more to come in Tucson.
"Our goal is to open three or four more," in town, Standage said.
However, Standage said that breaking into the Tucson market couldn't have been more fortuitous.
After the controversy that erupted around a Facebook post made by the owners of the former Cup It Up, the space The Buffalo Spot now sits was vacant.
"We really wanted to be next to a college or university, and there really wasn't anything like that up here [in the Phoenix area]," Standage said.
Complicating matters further, Standage and her husband are friends with the current franchisee in Phoenix, and wanted to avoid encroaching on his area.
All of that culminated in a trip to Tucson last November, and the couple decided to pay a visit to another fairly new restaurant concept: Illegal Pete's. While they dined on Pete's patio, Dave pointed to a seemingly abandoned store-front across the street on Tyndall Avenue.
"He said, 'That looks vacant,'" Standage said. "So we went and looked through the windows and didn't see any signs or lights on. It was perfect."
After contacting the Marshall Foundation, the non-profit organization that owns the building on Tyndall where the The Buffalo Spot is located, and going through a rigorous selection process, the Standages' are ready to open.
And the opening will include beer, another fortunate inheritance from Cup It Up.
"Our 'Spot' will be the only one to currently serve alcohol," Standage said. "But it's really a nice, fun atmosphere for kids to come. It's just a nice enviornment for everyone."
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