Less than 18 months after opening a Wild Wing Cafe on Whittlesey Boulevard, a Columbus businessman is poised to break ground on a second and larger location in the area.
Sanjay Choudhury, owner of the Wild Wing Cafe at 6525 Whittlesey Blvd., said ground should be broken next week on the new restaurant at Capps Landing in Opelika, Ala. That area is a newer property development just south of Interstate 85 and the popular Tiger Town commercial area on Gateway Drive and off Exit 58.
“It’s by the movie theater. It’s right in front of that,” said Choudhury, referring to the Carmike Tiger 13, a movie-theater complex at 1900 Capps Landing. A Holiday Inn Express & Suites and a Hampton Inn & Suites also are part of that development. “That part is growing now. Tiger Town is full and there’s really not much (land) left there now.”
The Opelika Wild Wing Cafe will be nearly 9,500 square feet, about 1,700 square feet larger than the Columbus restaurant, he said.
“What I did is 500 or 600 square feet (extra) goes to the kitchen, like a bigger kitchen, maybe a couple of hundred square feet goes to the patio, another 100 square feet goes to the stage, and another 600 or 700 square foot goes to the family dining room area,” the businessman said.
The Opelika-Auburn restaurant is shooting for a mid-June opening, Choudhury said.
Like the $3.4 million Columbus location, entertainment will be a major component of the new location, with musicians performing acoustic sets at times, and comedy nights and live-band karaoke part of the mix. There also will be several dozen high-definition TV screens inside the venue, often tuned to sporting events.
Aside from interstate travelers, the new location also likely will see a surge of business, as many restaurants and hotels in the area do, when the Auburn University Tigers host SEC football games each fall.
Choudhury said the Wild Wing Cafes in Columbus and Opelika likely won’t be his last ones. He’s already considering locations farther north, including in the Newnan, Ga., area.