(Map shows the approcimate location of restaurant complex. Address listed is for the Border Cafe)
By Doug Rainey
High 5 Hospitality will be part of the opening of a northern outpost for Sussex County’s Touch of Italy. The company will also relocate a Buffalo Wild Wings franchise to a site near the Delaware Park casino and race track complex.
High 5 co-owner Bobby Pancake confirmed that the BWW location will move to the new site, which is closer to major employment centers, such as JPMorgan Chase, Delaware Technical Community College, Sallie Mae and Christiana Hospital.
The site is adjacent to the Border Cafe, a popular Cajun, Tex-Mex restaurant near the intersection of Routes 4 and 7.
The current BWW location is at 2062 Limestone Road near Kirkwood Highway. The restaurant is in a crowded strip center near a Wawa convenience store/gas station.
Buildings for the BWW and Touch of Italy restaurants are now under construction at the site. Pancake said an early fall opening is expected for the BWW location.
In the early 2000s, Pancake and partner Steve Wheat acquired a franchise territory for Buffalo Wild Wings that includes Delaware and a portion of Maryland in the early 2000s and opened their first BWW in Bear in 2004.
High 5now has eight BWW franchises in the two states. The company is headquartered in Bear, DE.
In 2010, the High 5 owners won a national award from the Small Business Administration. In growing the business, the owners used SBA loans.
High 5 later diversified by acquiring the 16-Milerestaurant on Main Street in Newark and renamed the space the Stone Balloon Alehouse. Award-winning chef Robbie Jester stayed on and went on to greater fame by beating celebrity chef Bobby Flay on a Food Network show.
This year, Pancake began consulting work with Sussex County-based Touch of Italy, which operates five Italian food locations in Sussex County and nearby Ocean City, MD. The companies remain under separate ownership but share back-office functions such as accounting and employment recruitment, according to the Rehoboth Foodie site.
Touch of Italy offers Italian restaurant fare, bakery items, and Italian salumeria(delicatessen( items. It also operates an online retail business.
The sprawling area that will soon be home to the two restaurants – which sometimes goes by the name of Churchmans Crossing, – has been targeted by chains.
Florida-based Miller’s Ale House, slated to open a location across from Christiana Hospital at the former Bugaboo Creek Steak House location.
Another Florida restaurant chain, Metro Diner will open later this year at a former Wawa off Ogletown Road. Fast-growing Maryland chain The Greene Turtle recently opened a restaurant at the former Chili’s location near the new BWW and Touch of Italy locations.