FedWings opened the outpost last month, smoking and frying chicken wings out of Ted’s Bulletin kitchen at 11948 Market Street.
The wings were being served at their barbecue restaurant Federalist Pig (with locations in D.C. and Maryland) prior, but it became clear to the owners that there was a big appetite for this easy-to-eat-at-home, finger food.
“When the pandemic happened, a lot of people wanted more wings,” co-owner Nick Salis tells Reston Now. “And we were trying to figure out how to keep our kitchen staff employed and keep people working… so we launched this wings brand.”
Their first so-called “ghost kitchen” was out of Kramer’s Bookstore in D.C.(which they also own) and have since expanded to eight locations, including Reston as well as ones in Merrifield and Arlington.
Salis says what makes their wings unique is that they smoke them, quickly deep fry them, and, then, toss them in a proprietary rub.
“These wings are not the easiest wings to make,” he says. “We smoke them for an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the wood. Smoking is a little bit of an art.”
Since they started smoking and frying in mid-September, Reston’s FedWings has been doing crisp business, Salis notes.
While the pandemic continues to change and debilitate the restaurant industry, Salis says that the Ted Bulletin’s location at Reston Town Center has been hurting ever since Boston Properties infamously instituted paid parking back in 2016.
“There was a drop in sales of 30% overnight,” he says. “It was like your worst nightmare. It leaves a scar.”
Salis is hopeful though, since sales are climbing back, creeping closer to what it was when the restaurant opened there in 2014.
The hope is that FedWings will help continue that trend. The response has been “awesome” so far and the company is evaluating what the next steps could be, whether that means opening more ghost kitchens or establishing dedicated brick and mortars for FedWings.
“As of right now,” Salis says, “We’re just enjoying serving these wings to the community of Reston.”
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