In Our Opinion
Nov 18, 2009 | 6816 views | 0 0 comments | 61 61 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last week, a 40-cent wing promotion at a Buffalo Wild Wings in the Atlantic Center Mall in Brooklyn got a little out of hand. In fact, it got a lot out of hand.

Thousands of high school kids, who had both Tuesday and Wednesday off from school, showed up at the restaurant, which led to a tense situation that involved the police, and, unfortunately, three shootings and one stabbing out on the streets surrounding the mall.

Fortunately, all of those injured are expected to recover.

Buffalo Wild Wings isn't the only joint in the city that offers a cheap wing night, so how did this particular promotion attract so many kids? Apparently, the same way that teenagers nowadays hear about everything – social networking sites, specifically Facebook and Twitter.

This particular cheap wing night was promoted heavily on those sites by somebody not affiliated with Buffalo Wild Wings in an attempt to draw as many teens – who were enjoying a couple of days off from school – to the restaurant. It's unclear what the motivation was, or if the person was trying to attract unsavory elements to the mall, but it worked.

Since the incident took place, some have tried to hold Buffalo Wild Wings accountable, arguing offering a cheap food deal one night a week was irresponsible, as was not hiring extra security. Some have called on the restaurant to lose its lease in the mall if they don't voluntarily end the promotion.

Buffalo Wild Wings is a national chain, and offering cheap wings on Tuesday nights is a two-decade-old practice at the establishment. Granted, hardly a time-honored tradition, but it's not an idea that originated with the Atlantic Center locale to cause a, well, feeding frenzy.

And for that matter, Buffalo Wild Wings is hardly the only restaurant in the city to offer deals on dining. For whatever reason, this particular event attracted a large number of unruly teens that required a police response to quell. Ultimately, it could have just as easily been cheap slice night at the mall's Chuck E. Cheese that this particular Facebook user could have picked up on.

If anything, the event at Buffalo Wild Wings is both an extraordinary and cautionary tale about the power of social networking and how quickly it can cause things to get out of hand, and not a tale about some wing joint that some want to now paint as a bad community neighbor.

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