By Alan Madlane
Have a craving for some chicken?
If so, WingFellas is the joint for you. And it’s conveniently located on the Jos. Campau Ave. strip, north of Caniff on the west side of the street.
They offer not just wings, with or without bones, but also chicken fingers, burgers, wraps, subs, pizza and salads, as well as side dishes, beverages and desserts.
We decided to check in with owner Salahaddin “Sal” Nagi for a short chat about his time in the business.
The Review: So, tell us just a little bit about yourself and WingFellas, your business. How did the business start?
Sal: I worked for the owner with my brother. This was about 2017, at the original location which was called Wing Fingers, on Schaefer in Dearborn.
That place burned down in 2019, so the owner bought out Lefty’s, which had been across the street. Now he has four WingFellas places. This Hamtramck location was the second store, then there’s the one in Southfield, and then Ypsilanti.
I ended up partnering with him, and now he will be franchising this one (the Hamtramck store) to me.
The Review: How is it, operating a restaurant business right now, with food shortages due to supply chain issues, trouble keeping or hiring help, and so on?
Sal: I have my faith in God, and try to put the work in. We’re doing okay; not great yet, but okay.
The Review: Is it difficult, with so many food service businesses seeing such a rise in angry customers, and the like?
Sal: We’ve been fortunate, we haven’t really had any problems.
People have been understanding; if we make a mistake on an order because we’re busy, we take care of it. Our employees treat people with respect, and we just make sure that we get people what they wanted.
The Review: How many employees do you have?
Sal: Five or six. Two or three of them are part-time.
The Review: Do you deliver?
Sal: We’ll do it if we have an employee here who can.
Also, people can go online and order, and then Door Dash will bring it. They charge people $4, but then they also charge us, so we end up paying some too.
The Review: What about dining in? Is there room in your restaurant for people to sit and enjoy their meal?
Sal: They’re going to cut off the other part of the building. We’ve been able to seat 15 to 20 people, but after that it will more like 8 to 10 that we will have the room for.
The Review: You also do catering, correct?
Sal: Yes, some. We can generally get that set up in three or four hours, up to a day. It’s not great yet, but we’re doing okay with it.
The Review: Can you remember any special events, or other parties, that stand out?
Sal: We did an Eid celebration in Dodge Park (in Sterling Heights). That had quite a few people there.
The Review: So, what sets your place apart in the crowded field?
Sal: We just want to provide good food and good service to people looking for a decent meal.
The Review: Well, best of luck to you in doing that!
Wing Fellas Hamtramck is located at 11401 Jos. Campau Ave., where Hungry Howie’s once operated. Call (313) 469-9464 for carryout or delivery. Online order through GrubHub or DoorDash. Or dine in. You decide. Thewingfellas.com.
Posted Jan. 7, 2022