If you added 15 or so big-screen televisions to Moe's Tavern, recruited some of the regulars from Cheers, and threw in some bar snacks à la Winchester Tavern (minus the zombies and Brits), you'd have Wingzup. This no-frills, locally owned and operated watering hole has been slinging drinks and serving chicken wings since 2011, but more importantly, it's the only dine-in establishment in Hancock Center that has liquor.
In full disclosure: I can walk here from my office, which makes the deadline-day Wednesday special – half-price appetizers and $3 Jameson and Jäger shots – all the more appealing. Aside from offering both sliced and speared fried pickles, you can also score a Canadian poutine, a charbroiled burger, or a grilled chicken tender salad. But really, it's all in the name: Wingzup is a wings bar. An entire page of their menu is dedicated to the quintessential American food. Wings are offered six ways (original, golden, boneless, grilled, country, smoked), and there are a whopping 24 sauces and two dry rubs to choose from.
In fact, Wingzup took home the coveted Judges' Champion for Best Wing at the second annual Austin Chicken Wing Festival on Sunday, May 20, and general manager Merrill Frank will probably let you see the trophy up close if you're really sweet. (Is it a real chicken wing preserved in resin? Is it a 3-D-printed chicken wing?) But the crew of bartenders and daytime regulars really give this place its flavor: They'll remember your drink, they'll keep you company when you're flying solo, and they'll somehow still be in good spirits with an entire bar full of crazy fútbol fans (yes, they're screening World Cup games).
But if that's not enough reason to give this spot a try, maybe your alcohol-induced alter ego wants to vie for her spot in The Ghost Wing Challenge Wingzup Hall of Fame. Just finish 25 original ghost wings – the hottest on their scale – in under 10 minutes without any drinks or dips and, in addition to a gift card and an "I Survived" T-shirt, you'll win a round of applause from Sam, Carla, and rest of the revolving cast of regulars.
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