By Valerie Baldowski
Sam Patel said he believes he has found the recipe for success in his latest culinary venture.
Patel opened Wing Street Cafe Bar and Grill, located on Ga. Highway 138 in Stockbridge, in September. Despite the presence of numerous restaurants dotting both sides of the busy road, he said he feels his eatery will stand out from the competition.
"The wings are the size of dinosaur legs," said Anthony Woods, who was there for dinner last week with his brother, Antonio Woods.
Patel has been in the food industry since 2007. Before opening his Stockbridge restaurant, he said he owned a Philly Connection restaurant at Town Center Mall for a year. Patel researched the Henry County area to determine his chances of success.
"There are many restaurants, but there are no wing places here with a bar and a glass [drive-through] window," he said. "It's also a freestanding building. Most wing places are in small shopping centers, and the majority of them have closed down."
Antonio and Anthony Woods were first-time customers. Anthony Woods ordered teriyaki wings, while his brother opted to try the orange-glazed and sesame-glazed wings.
"On a scale of one to 10, I'm going to give them a nine and a half," Anthony Woods said.
He suggested the cafe to his brother after hearing about it from others.
"I decided I was going to come over here," he said. "I thought it had wings, then I saw they had karaoke, and I noticed that they were doing something other than just a little sit-down, bar-and-wing spot."
"I just wanted to try it out," said Antonio Woods, a College Park resident. "This might be a favorite spot. We just stopped in for a bite to eat, and I actually enjoyed it. I like the environment a lot."
Patel said his location, at 72 Ga. Highway 138 East, works to his benefit because the restaurant is in a highly visible area. He is confident his restaurant can hold its own with customers.
"We've got the best burger in town," he said. "The cheese is inside the meat. When you bite it, it will ooze out."
Wing Street Cafe specializes in chicken wings, and customers have a choice of 17 different chicken wing glazes, including lemon pepper, teriyaki and garlic Parmesan, as well as the traditional hot, medium and mild glazes. The wing cafe also serves hot dogs, sandwiches, salads, wraps, and appetizers. The eatery fills a void, Patel said, given a dearth of wing restaurants along Ga. 138 between Conyers and Stockbridge.
Melissa Justus-Jordan was seated at a table with family recently, eating her order of chicken wings. For Justus-Jordan, it was her second time dining at Wing Street Cafe. Her first visit, she said, was at the take-out window in November.
The Stockbridge resident said she was drawn to the cafe.
"This one was a new one, and they closed the wing place that was by our house, so we said we were going to try this one," said Justus-Jordan.
Valerie Baldowski covers government and politics for the Henry Daily Herald.