A Wild Wing Cafe will open in Aiken "hopefully" by early April, an executive with the restaurant chain confirmed Thursday.
Wild Wing Cafe CEO Steve Weigel said the company is “very excited” to be opening a new location on Aiken’s Southside on Fabian Drive, at the former site of Travinia Italian Kitchen.
The building has been vacant since Travinia closed in December 2016. Plans to convert the site into a Wild Wing Cafe, which is known for its chicken wings and wide selection of beer, have been in the works for two years.
A popular Aiken Italian eatery will be closing its doors at the end of the month.
“We were working with one of our franchise owners, and they weren’t able to finish the build out of the restaurant, so we took it over as a corporation,” Weigel said. "We’re finishing the build out now … We’re excited to hopefully open the first (or) second week of April.”
Weigel said corporate took over the project in December , and they’ve been trying to open the cafe “as quickly as possible.”
The company has begun talks with the City of Aiken to confirm official renderings for the restaurant’s layout and seating capacity; remodeling work has already begun.
Among the items on the menu will be 30 different sauces for wings.
Weigel estimates the Aiken location will hire around 120 employees.
Big changes are planned for the building on Aiken’s Southside where a Travinia Italian Kitch…
A dual bar, a stage for live music and 20 to 25 televisions for sporting events and other entertainment will be part of the interior, but Weigel said Wild Wing plans to retain as much of the building’s current layout as possible, along with some of Travinia’s artwork as a nod to its location’s predecessor.
The store will be corporate owned. The chain began in 1990 in Hilton Head Island, and is primarily located in South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina. The Aiken store will be its 45th location.
Weigel said Wild Wing Cafe will likely host parties and celebrations of major events, such as the Masters or St. Patrick’s Day. The restaurant chain usually throws a weeklong block party at new locations when they open, and likely will in Aiken at the new site.
"We want to be that social gathering place for the community, and be used in many different ways,” Weigel said.