By Melonie McLaurin
ROCKINGHAM — Wing Queen Cafe will open at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the building that used to be occupied by Rock City Wings, but diners can expect to find a lot more than wings at this new family-owned spot.
Owners Deric and Carolyn Spencer, a husband and wife team already known regionally for their Wing Queen food truck, promise a tempting variety of the truck’s most popular items as well as a daily hot bar from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
“Ursula (Render) left in May,” Deric said. “I had talked to Mike, the owner of this complex, and I told him if this ever came open to let me know and that my wife and I were interested in it. Ursula gave it all she had to make it work, but she was doing it all by herself. It was just too much for one person.”
Regina Willoughby, Deric’s sister, will serve as the waitress and cashier when the restaurant opens next week.
“I’ve been doing waitress work for around six years,” she said. “And I’m pretty much certified in all the requirements of that in restaurants. I like meeting people and making sure their food is right. It’s about making the customer happy.”
Carolyn Spencer said there’s a reason the new sign out front says “Wings and More.”
“There will be more variety of choices to pick from,” she said. “We’ll have a bar from 11 to 2 where people can get a plate with one meat, two vegetables and a roll. We will also have a variety of sandwiches which consist of hamburgers, grilled or breaded chicken and regular or bacon-wrapped hot dogs. And BLTs, club sandwiches and chicken salad sandwiches.”
Carolyn Spencer said there’s also going to be something extra special that isn’t found anywhere else in the county.
“Chicken and waffles,” she said. “Those are really popular in Atlanta and we’re bringing them here. And on Fridays and Saturdays we want to do fish, maybe tilapia, whiting and perch. And there will be daily specials as well.”
Deric Spencer said he’s particularly excited about the quality of the burgers he’s going to hand-craft with all fresh, high-quality ground beef purchased locally.
“All burgers are going to be fresh-ground, patted burgers,” he said. “I”m going to have IGA make me 25 pounds of ground beef a day. Once it’s gone for the day, it’s gone. I think people will really appreciate a good, fresh burger. Not like anything they can currently get around here.”
Carolyn Spencer smiled an almost wicked smile as she announced another specialty.
“We’re also going to have broccoli balls.”
Broccoli balls, she said, are battered, deep-fried poppers with broccoli and melted cheese inside.
“They are so good with ranch dressing,” she said. “They were very popular items on our food truck.”
The family said they plan to add a fourth person to the staff to make sure the food is served in a timely fashion.
“We’re going to do whatever we’ve got to do to get your business,” Deric Spencer said. “We also want to give back to the community.”
“My heart is in the shelters,” Carolyn Spencer said. “Mainly the homeless. We can donate leftover food at the end of the day to any shelter that will accept it, as long as we don’t charge anything for it. That’s what Holly at the health department told us, and since we aren’t using leftover food the next day it could go to good use rather than just be thrown away.”
Wing flavors listed on the menu include regular, mild, hot, honey barbecue, lemon pepper, sweet and spicy and jerk. Sandwich combos start at $4.75 and go up to $7, and sides include fries, onion rings, broccoli balls, fried okra, potato salad, hushpuppies and fatback.
Wing Queen Cafe located at 801 E. Broad Ave. will be open every Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call 910-895-2200.
Reach reporter Melonie McLaurin at 910-817-2673 and follow her on Twitter @meloniemclaurin.