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One of the Triangle’s top wing spots is opening a new location to feed crowds — safely

Heavenly Buffaloes on Erwin Road, photographed on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, in Durham, N.C.

Heavenly Buffaloes on Erwin Road, photographed on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, in Durham, N.C.

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There’s a nice demand for hen wings.

At standard wing store Heavenly Buffaloes in Durham, that demand has been so nice at occasions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, that co-owner Mark Dundas frightened the crowd of folks may very well be harmful.

So with public well being in thoughts, Heavenly Buffaloes is opening a new Durham location. The second Durham store will transfer into the Erwin Terrace growth close to Duke University hospital, at 2816 Erwin Road in Durham. The restaurant opens in the former Tamale Factory & Tequila Bar, which closed in 2019.

The new fryers shall be frying earlier than subsequent month’s Super Bowl. Dundas, who owns Heavenly Buffaloes with Dain Phelan, mentioned the new location is simply a couple of weeks away, with plans to open earlier than the finish of January.

Dundas and Phelan opened Heavenly Buffaloes’ first location in 2014, launching as a 300-square-foot wing-frying shack simply a few yards from Duke’s East Campus. Dundas as soon as told the News & Observer they could cook one thousand wings each quarter-hour.

Today, Heavenly Buffaloes is one of the Triangle’s hottest spots for buffalo wings, slinging 1000’s per week. They’ve additionally added locations on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill and in Greensboro. Fans don’t fret, that brilliant orange shack that began all of it isn’t going wherever.

“We decided we needed a second location to reduce the strain on our little shack,” Dudas mentioned in a telephone interview. “We had been talking about expansion, but COVID was really what finally made us go ahead and do this.”

The new location may have indoor and outside seating, making it extra like the Chapel Hill location than the unique Durham spot. But Dudas mentioned the bulk of the enterprise will nonetheless be takeout for now, with solely a couple unfold out tables obtainable indoors and 5 picnic tables on the patio.

“This is a long term plan,” Dundas mentioned. “Folks in Durham have been asking for a sit down restaurant, it’s just taken longer than we hoped.”

The unique Heavenly Buffaloes location was already arrange for the affect of COVID, which compelled many eating places to rely extra closely on takeout gross sales as eating rooms closed or restricted seating.

Heavenly Buffaloes had a totally different drawback: too many individuals have been ready for wings. The restaurant made a number of pleas on social media for purchasers to look ahead to orders of their vehicles and to maintain area from others. On Reddit the restaurant was criticized for the crowd.

Dundas mentioned increasing in Durham had been in the works for a whereas, however that this transfer was largely about relieving the overwhelmed fryers at the brilliant orange Markham Avenue location.

“Waits could sometimes be as long as 45 minutes or an hour,” Dundas mentioned. “We need to reduce the pressure on that location.”

The new Durham spot may even have an expanded menu, including sandwiches and salads to the lengthy listing of wing sauces, waffles fries and dry rubs.

Drew Jackson writes about eating places and eating for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun, overlaying the meals scene in the Triangle and North Carolina.

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