By Myron Smothers
It is 2:15 a.m. and while the club is closed, there is still a long line outside. However, they are not trying to gain entry, but yet an entrée. Everyone is trying to get their hands on a plate of Empire Wings. Vic Smith and his business partner Derrick Revish started making the wings back in 2012. Smith was heavily involved in the party scene here in Baton Rouge and even opened up his own club called Empire. Hence the name, Empire Wingz. He says the food was initially just a marketing technique to benefit the bar.
“We were just selling them to make people drink more,” said Smith.
Time passed by and eventually Smith decided to take a break from the party business. Empire was not working out so he and his partners decided to shut it down. He felt the club scene in the city was different.
“The game had changed and honestly it wasn’t fun anymore” said Smith.
Empire was shut down in 2014 and along went the Empire Wingz. Smith began searching for his next business venture. He recalls telling his business partner Revish they should kick back off the Empire Wings because people loved them, but they never followed through with the idea. Revish called Smith in April and said let’s do it and because he was still searching for his new venture, he hopped on board.
“I was like f*ck it,” said Smith, “I took my last $1,200, bought a fryer and the rest is history.”
Smith says he prayed and asked God to guide his steps. It was extremely hard to invest in his last new business venture. However, he trusted his brand so the decision was a no brainer. He believes big decisions like this one are a big part of being an entrepreneur.
“Sometimes it about taking risks and believing that it will be all worth it in the end,” says Smith.
Now, Empire Wingz are back in action and taking Baton Rouge by storm. When Smith and Revish originally started they had one flavor but now they are up to eight. They offer Original Buffalo, HOT, DANGER, BBQ, Spicy BBQ, Honey BBQ, Garlic Parmesan and Lemon Pepper. They serve eight Wingz & Fries for $10 or four Wingz & Fries for $5.
While Smith says the flavors are delicious, he assures the key to Empire Wingz are the ingredients.
“The chicken is seasoned to perfection,” says Smith. “We have a special recipe (made by Revish) and a secret seasoning that is undeniable.”
You can get your Empire Wingz Monday through Thursday at Anconas on North St., Thursday nights at the Daiquiri Café on Greenwell Springs Rd., Fridays at Campus Cutz on Nicholson Dr. and Saturdays at the Daiquiri Café on Sherwood. They are also available at events at Club XO in Downtown Baton Rouge.
With business booming, Smith says he and Revish has some big plans for Empire Wingz. They are gearing up to launch a Wing Spot by Southern University in 2016 and plan on franchising in the near future.
“We have the best wings in the country,” says Smith. “If it’s in God’s will, you will see Empire Wingz pop up all over the World.”
You can contact Smith on Instagram at @VicViproductions.