A new restaurant franchise known for Chicago-style pizza is moving into the former Buffalo Wild Wings location in Town Plaza, slated to open in early 2019.  Rosati's Pizza Sports Pub will occupy the space, said Jason Niswonger with Thomas Rhea Pizza LLC. "There are over 200 Rosati's restaurants across the country," Niswonger said. "We're in a pocket where they don't exist."

Niswonger said the newest layout concept for Rosati's restaurants is a sports pub, and that's the atmosphere the Cape Girardeau location will have, at 2136 William St., Suite 120.  Tom Kelsey, commercial broker with Lorimont Commercial Real Estate in Cape Girardeau, handled the transaction, Niswonger said. Illinois has more than 80 Rosati's restaurants, but the Cape Girardeau site is the only Missouri location listed on the company's website, as of Wednesday afternoon. Rosati's has at least one restaurant listed in 14 states, according to the website.

The menu is robust, Niswonger said, though Rosati's is known for its Chicago deep-dish pizza -- and its thin crust.  The chain also offers sandwiches and pasta, and, Niswonger said, in Cape Girardeau, Rosati's will do delivery and carryout.  Niswonger said the franchise has been "very accommodating," working with Thomas Rhea Pizza to develop the franchise, and he's anticipating working with the city and state through their processes.  "We will have to hire an entire crew, so when it gets closer to time, we'll definitely be looking," Niswonger said, adding he hopes doors will open as early as January