A Wild Wing Cafe will be built in Statesboro over the next few months by a local entrepreneur with deep experience in both the brand and the Statesboro fast food scene.
Tiku Shroff has been in the restaurant business here for 31 years. Unlike Shroff's other Statesboro properties - the combined Baskin Robbins /Dunkin' Donuts, the Popeye's franchise and Larry's Giant Subs - Wild Wing Cafe will double as an entertainment venue. But the concept of blending hot wings and live music certainly is not new to Shroff, who over the past five years has worked with another investor to build or purchase Wild Wing Cafes in four different Georgia cities.
Now he is bringing a Wild Wing to his home town.
"I was always interested in Statesboro because I want to build my hub in Statesboro in the next five years and focus only on the Statesboro market in growth and development," Shroff said. "So I chose this market and thought, with my previous experience with restaurants, it would be a great opportunity and this town would love it."
He purchased the site, fronting Fair Road adjacent the new Aspen Heights residential complex, through real estate agent Nick Propps of Statesboro Properties. Propps says the Wild Wing Cafe will be a great fit for the new Aspen Heights community with its Colorado-style architecture. The location also promises built-in traffic from a young, college-oriented crowd, since Aspen Heights is renting to more than 1,000 students.
Jerry Sutton of Development and Construction Services Inc., or DCS, based in Alpharetta will build the 6,000 square-foot, approximately 200-seat cafe. Meeting at Shroff's office in Statesboro last week, Shroff and Sutton said construction should start by the end of the month. They hope to have the place ready to open some time in January, but Sutton cautioned that the weather always adds uncertainty to construction timetables.
The design is a brand-new prototype for the chain, said Sutton, who has built at least 15 other Wild Wing Cafes. It will have a unique two-story patio with a rooftop bar open to the sky.
Live music will be scheduled on Friday and Saturday nights, beginning after the dinner rush, Shroff said, with acts typically starting at 9:30 or 10 p.m. and performing until 1 a.m. Karaoke night is likely to be Monday, he added.
But Wild Wing Cafe aims to appeal to families throughout the week. Tuesday evenings in particular are planned as family nights. They will feature a "TwoFer Tuesday" special with 12 wings for the price of six.
Wings are obviously the menu's starring attraction. Wild Wing Cafe uses fresh, jumbo wings, and all the sauces - 32 flavors are offered - will be prepared fresh each day, Shroff said. Indeed, the only thing on the menu prepared from a frozen product is the french fries, he said.
Wild Wing Cafe menus also include choices such as burgers, sandwiches, soups, salads and nachos.
"The food rocks," and the beer will be cold, said Shroff.
Wild Wing Cafe currently has 33 locations in Georgia, Florida, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Virginia and Texas. Shroff has owned four of the seven Georgia franchises.
A Statesboro resident since 1981, Shroff immigrated to the United States from India at age 21 to attend Georgia Southern. He took his first restaurant job at Sub Station II, then thriving on South Main Street. He started out making sandwiches and worked his way up in the shop while working his way through college. He graduated with a business administration degree in 1985, bought the local Baskin Robbins in 1991 and added the Dunkin' Donuts Franchise in 1997. In 2005, Shroff purchased the Dunkin' Donuts in Cumming and still owns that as well. In 2008 he built a new Wild Wing Cafe in Macon. In 2009 he acquired the Wild Wing Cafes in Alpharetta and Suwanee. The Suwanee store is now under contract for sale to someone else. Shroff purchased the Gainesville location in 2010, but sold it in 2011.
In 2010, he also bought the Popeye's in Statesboro, and in 2013 he acquired Larry's Giant Subs.
He and wife Lisa have two grown children, both now in the restaurant business after earning restaurant management diplomas from Ogeechee Technical College. Daughter Meredith manages the Popeye's. Son Neel manages the Duncan Donuts.
Cassie Scarborough is currently in training at the Wild Wing Cafe corporate headquarters to serve as general manager of the Statesboro restaurant.