Posted By RichC on November 14, 2017
Always interesting when personal stories intersect with financial stories.
- Roark Capital has made an offer to buy Buffalo Wild Wings, a source familiar with the matter told CNBC.
- Roark made an offer of more than $150 per share, the person told CNBC. Shares surged 28 percent after the Wall Street Journal initially reported the offer.
- Shares of the restaurant chain have shed 24 percent this year.
Wall Street Journal Story 11/13/2017
A couple decades ago while living in Hudson, Ohio we took our “little girl” (photo left) Katelyn skating at the ice rink at Kent State University near our house. Little did we know that she would enjoy figure skating enough to start lessons once we moved to Cincinnati. As she excelled in the sport, we found ourselves in the Queen City Figure Skating Club and hiring experience Olympic level coaching … Dave and Rita Lowery. As is the norm, the travel and competitions became a family affair through most of Katelyn’s Junior High and High School years (and eventually as a skating coach herself, became a excellent part time job). As with 99% of figure skaters, there is only so much dedication and money before a decision needs to be made as to how far one can go with skating; thankfully Katelyn made the right choice and decided her best option was pursuing a career in medicine!
Back to the “financial” part of the story. We often heard of the Lowery’s connection to Buffalo Wild Wings and after hearing yesterday’s news of a takeover offer of $2.3 billion had me remembering Dave telling me about his connection to founding of “BW3” (originally Buffalo Wild Wings & Weck).
Buffalo Wild Wings was founded in 1982 by two longtime friends, Jim Disbrow and Scott Lowery. Disbrow was born in Kentucky, and had moved to Cincinnati at the age of 11 to live with figure-skating coaches David and Rita Lowery, who later became his legal guardians. Their son Scott, ten years younger, grew up regarding him as a brother. Disbrow was a talented skater, and was named an alternate to the 1968 U.S. Olympic team, later touring with the show Holiday on Ice. In 1974 he moved to Buffalo, New York, and it was there that he first experienced a spicy local version of barbecued chicken wings that had originated in 1961 at a place called the Anchor Bar.
One day in 1981, while judging a figure skating competition at Kent State University in Ohio, Disbrow met up with Scott Lowery and the pair decided to get themselves some Buffalo-style chicken wings. They looked everywhere in town and couldn’t find any, and out of their frustration came the idea to open a restaurant of their own.