Buffalo Grill West, at Markham and Bowman Road, closed Thursday, folks at its venerable (and still open) predecessor the Buffalo Grill on Rebsamen Park Road have confirmed. Our calls to owner Douglas Green have gone unanswered; he’s probably tired of talking to reporters who got to him first, including Jan Cottingham at Arkansas Business. Her story is here.
On hearing the news, visitors to the restaurant’s Facebook page were pleading with Green to keep the restaurant open. One fan wrote, “Oh no, please don’t close – give us another chance, we’ll all come eat there tonight!” The page itself did not disclose that the restaurant, located nearly 25 years at the West Little Rock location, had been shut down.
UPDATE: I just talked to Green about his decision to close the store. Buffalo West — which seated 250, about three times more than the Rebsamen Park Road restaurant can — fell victim to bad economy and competition from the growing restaurant market, he said, “and me breaking my leg didn’t help.” He’s had four surgeries since 2010 on the leg.
“I couldn’t maintain what I was doing … couldn’t cut back without sacrificing what we do,” Green said. He said it was a difficult, emotional decision.
Green was assistant manager at the Rebsamen Park store when it was owned by John Geiser. They opened Buffalo Grill West Nov. 7, 1988, and Green later bought Geiser out.
Green said he was going to be able to bring two and perhaps four employees who worked out west to the Rebsamen Park restaurant and was trying to help others find work.