(Updated) WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. — Hurricane Grill & Wings will be blowing into Hagerstown soon from Florida.
The website for Valley Plaza’s owners show the wings, burgers and beer restaurant will be coming to the former Cinqo de Mayo restaurant in front of Kmart and Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. The shopping center also has a Tractor Supply Co., store. (The plaza is now actively trying to find a replacement for the aptly named Hard Times Cafe, too.)
After this story was first published in June, permits filed in September that this will be a sister restaurant operation. This location will be the chain’s Hurricane Dockside Grill, according to permits filed with Washington County. It’s the same company but an employee at the Tavares, Fla., location told me they serve more seafood at the Dockside locations. Typically, Dockside is a waterside location but maybe the franchise decided to switch things up.
Originally built as a Ground Round (oh, I feel old now), the new Hurricane Dockside Grill space has been a revolving door for over a decade.
Hurricane Grill & Wings is based in Fort Piece, Fla., which is on the Atlantic coast halfway between Cocoa Beach and West Palm Beach. I’ve dined at their Sarasota location that also went in a revolving space for restaurants at the Westfield Sarasota Square mall. It didn’t last long and closed only after. I ate at the Sarasota location and liked the outdoor element that could only work in Florida and the ambience matched the name and location. Will I feel like I’m in Florida there, sipping on a margarita in Maryland?
The big question is how long will this location survive? Not only did the Sarasota location close, but after I moved from Sarasota, Hurricane Grill opened in a former LeRoy Selmon’s in Bradenton, Fla. It had a kitchen fire and never reopened. It also had a construction lien placed against it.
Its Laurel, Md., location is already closed. However, the Elkton, Md., location is still open.
A 2015 restaurant news release said the Hagerstown franchise is owned by father and son Steve and Chris Girard:
“The Hurricane Grill & Wings brand is on the move, and we are proud that Steve and Chris Girard want to be a part of this exciting time for the brand,” said Martin O’Dowd, president of Hurricane Grill & Wings. “Hurricane Grill & Wings is growing rapidly, and the Western Maryland market is an area that we’ve long targeted for franchised growth.”
“With our vast experience in the franchise industry as multi-unit franchisees for other restaurant concepts, we knew that Hurricane Grill & Wings would be the best brand to add to our portfolio for their superior product and core values,” said Chris Girard, franchisee of Hurricane Grill & Wings. “We look forward to inviting the Hagerstown community to Live with Flavor® at Hurricane Grill & Wings.”
Hopefully the Girard family figures out how to avoid the issues (and a fire) that the other locations encountered.
— Charles Schelle