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Defiance County's 2024 Business Of The Year

All photos courtesy of Grube, Inc.

“Wings. Beer. Success.” To paraphrase a slogan used several years ago by Buffalo Wild Wings, that sums up the story of Grube, Inc., the winners of the Pride Of Defiance County award for Defiance County Business of the Year.

So, how (and where) did it all start?

Grube, Inc. was established in 2001 by Steve Grube. Originally, the business consisted of one Buffalo Wild Wings location in Lima, Ohio. In the 23 years since, they’ve grown to be the world’s largest privately owned Buffalo Wild Wings franchisee. At this writing, Grube, Inc. owns 67 Buffalo Wild Wings locations in Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, California and Montana. We say “at this writing” because later this year, 3 more locations are set to open in Ohio (Cuyahoga Falls and Mayfield Heights near Cleveland and Grove City near Columbus), as well as a location in Rialto, California.

More Than Wings

Rusty Taco, a restaurant offering taco stand-inspired street tacos, opened in Maumee, Ohio (near Toledo) in 2018. Their advice: “Have Fun. Eat Tacos.” Grube, Inc. made some major acquisitions in the fall of 2023. They purchased 9 northwest Ohio locations of Marco’s Pizza, a familiar name in these parts and one of the fastest growing pizza chains in America, as well as Par Golf in Columbus, a full service pro shop with hitting bay, complete club and apparel sales, and coming soon, 3 golf simulators.


Through their Buffalo Wild Wings, Marco’s Pizza, Rusty Taco and Par Golf locations, Grube, Inc. employs nearly 4000 people. The executive team that oversees it all is still based in downtown Defiance…CEO and President Steve Grube, Senior Executive Vice President Jon Gathman, Executive Vice president Pete Thiel, Chief Financial officer Mark Grube, Chief Marketing Officer Rick Small, Chief Operating Officer Mitchell Grube, Director of Development Mathias Grube, and Controller Tanner Clingaman. As you can tell, Grube, Inc. is very much a family affair! Speaking of family, Steve and his wife Kelly are the proud parents of 9 children and 2 grandchildren, and they live in Defiance.

Again, we congratulate Grube, Inc. on being named Defiance County Business of the year! To see more, go to (But steer clear of Hank The Wild Winged Buffalo…He’s been known to have some body control issues.)



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