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It’s a risk to open a new small business, even during good economic times.
But despite the current downturn in the economy, the owners of Wing King Cafe in Lancaster have been pleasantly overwhelmed at the response to its newest restaurant.
Wing King Cafe, 426 S.C. 9 Bypass East, opened Dec. 14, and the restaurant has been busy since Day 1, say owners Kim and Bobby Jones and Lori and Brad Hartley.
“Busy is a good thing,” Lori Hartley said.
Customers have told the owners, who also own a Wing King on Carowinds Boulevard in Charlotte, that Lancaster really needed a restaurant like Wing King, said Kim Jones.
“Business has exceeded all expectations,” Bobby Jones said.
All four owners live in Indian Land, and originally planned to open a Wing King in Fort Mill or Indian Land.
Brad Hartley said he had jury duty one day in Lancaster and couldn’t find a restaurant to suit him during a lunch break. As he drove along the bypass looking for a place to eat, he saw the vacant building on the bypass that has housed several restaurants over the past few years.
Wing King offers a variety of wings in flavors such as hot barbecue, ginger, sweet and tangy mustard, lemon pepper and Brad Hartley’s favorite, Cajun hot teriyaki. The most popular flavor has been the honey hot.
The restaurant also offers appetizers such as fried pickles, fried green beans, buffalo oysters and the most popular appetizer of all – the raw chips, which are freshly cooked potato chips with a soft center.
The owners say it seems like the restaurant sells a batch of raw chips, served with homemade ranch or blue cheese dressing, with every order.
Other menu items include chicken fingers, fried shrimp or oyster salads, stuffed baked potatoes and sandwiches and burgers.
Wing King offers a full bar with $1.75 beer specials daily.
Business has been so good, the Joneses and Hartleys say, that getting everyone checked out sometimes takes time and the line loops all the way around the bar with people waiting to pay for their food or pick up carry-out orders.
The restaurant is getting a new touch-screen computer system that should help speed that process up and get customers in and out of the restaurant more quickly.
In the spring, a 16-foot by 40-foot covered deck will be added to the front of the restaurant for outdoor seating, making it a perfect place for music and karaoke when the weather gets warmer.
The owners say they want to work with local high school booster clubs and offer specials that will benefit high school sports teams. They also plan to hang team helmets in the restaurant to show school spirit.
Wing King is now taking pre-orders for carry-out wings for Super Bowl Sunday.
The Joneses and Hartleys are very thankful for the support they’ve received in opening Wing King in Lancaster and thank customers for their patience as the staff gets accustomed to the demand.
“I think we needed Lancaster and Lancaster needed us,” Bobby Jones said.
Wing King is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Orders may be placed by calling (803) 283-8777. Check out the wide variety of wing flavors at www.wingkingcafe.net.
Contact senior reporter Jenny Arnold at email@example.com or (803) 283-1151