Today on this beautiful Tuesday afternoon (March 27, 2012) I made my way down Bienville Street, heading to WOW Café & Wingery in Mid-City. Immediately, I noticed what was happening right across the street from WOW café. The demolition process had begun for the construction of the Winn-Dixie shopping complex, which will include Office Depot, Neighborhood Pet Market by Jefferson Feed, Felipe’s Taqueria, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Pei Wei Asian Diner, and Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt.
As I entered WOW Café, I immediately began to take in the sports-themed atmosphere. Flat screen TVs lined the walls displaying various sports channels. Also, local high school football helmets are lined throughout the restaurant, along with sports-themed pictures, such as a NASCAR vehicle decorated with the WOW Café & Wingery logo. It was not very busy at this time, but it did begin to pick up quickly as lunchtime approached. There was music playing in the background that was mixed with the humming sound of the daiquiri machines that were located behind the bar. The bar also served many local beers, such as LA 31, Covington Strawberry, Tin Roof Amber Ale, and Tin Roof Blonde Ale.
After I soaked in the atmosphere of WOW, I decided to take a seat at the bar. The friendly waitresses then greeted me and then took my drink and food order. I asked them if I could speak with the manager who was working at this time. The manager working today was Ross McStay. I introduced myself to Ross and explained to him about our Restaurant Row Recovery project. He was very nice and said that he would be glad to answer any questions I may have had for him.
After eating my West Coast Veggie sandwich on Texas Toast, I preceded to ask Ross a few questions. First, I briefly told Ross about the new plans of development in this Mid-City area. He said that he was aware of the plans, and was quite thankful that something new was finally being built in the area across the street from WOW. He said that he was tired of having to look at an abandoned building through the windows of WOW every time he was working. I asked Ross what his opinions were on the construction of the new complex. Ross replied that he was looking forward to the new complex and that he was happy to have other businesses built because it will bring more people to the area. He also said that he was not worried about the competition of Five Guys Burgers and Fries, because the majority of WOWs sales come from their wings.
Speaking of wings, as we all know wings are very much associated with football season. Ross said that he would definitely say that the busiest time of the year for WOW is football season, and not only when the Saints are playing (even though he said that it can get pretty crazy in WOW during a Saints game!). Any Sunday or Monday night football game always brings in a decent amount of people into WOW Café in Mid-City. Ross also told me that there is around a one thousand dollar difference in their sales when you compare football season time to other parts of the year. I also asked Ross if he felt that the majority of their clientele are residents from the surrounding Mid-City neighborhood. While he might not have known for sure, he felt that, yes, the majority of the clients are from the surrounding area.
I had a very nice and relaxing time speaking with Ross at WOW Café in Mid-City today. My partner, Mark Paternostro, and I will also be researching El Rinconcito and Kjean’s Seafood. More to come about our restaurants in the future! Next time we hope to present some interviews from the owners of our restaurants. Thanks for following our Restaurant Row Recovery blog and have a wonderful day!