Wendy and Pat Crain lived in San Diego for 30 years, managing Belmont Park, a historic amusement park in Mission Bay. When they retired, they wanted to do something more.
The couple relocated to Arizona and introduced Glendale to Epic Wings N’ Things in mid-June.
“We had to go through a lot of interviews, because they wanted to make sure they could trust whoever was expanding it to a different state, as most of the spots there in San Diego are family owned,” Wendy said.
“We had so much experience managing the park and dealing with the food service and everything, so it worked out.”
Upper management agreed.
“As a Phoenix native, I know our community will love the California-fresh design and Epic Wings’ menu. There is truly nothing like it,” said Rob Streett, president and chief operating officer.
With oldies rock anthems playing in the background, and a California beach vibe, the Glendale shop at 95th Avenue and Camelback Road provides a unique experience for diners.
Boasting a small and simple-but-delicious menu, chicken is the main star of just about every dish. A typical single meal (starting at just over $8) consists of a choice of four tenders, five boneless wings or six bone-in wings covered in a variety of sauce choices, along with oven-fresh breadsticks and celery and carrot sticks.
The double meal ($17) does exactly what it suggests: It doubles the portions of the single meal. The chicken often takes a few extra minutes than other spots to cook, because Epic Wings does not freeze its meat, and cooks fresh.
Crain said the first question she often hears from Arizona patrons regards the breadsticks. It is certainly an unusual side with breaded chicken in the area.
“In California you use it to sop up the sauce at the end. People might be hesitant at first, but they try them, and it’s delicious. We now get people who come in just to order the breadsticks (79 cents for two, $3.95 for six and $7.45 for a dozen) alone,” Crain said.
Other items include “Epic chicken fries” (normally around $8), which are fresh-cut fries with chicken, cheese and a spicy chipotle-ranch dressing drizzle and typical fountain drinks.
When she entered the San Diego restaurant 15 years ago, Crain did not even eat breaded chicken. Her first time trying the tenders with buffalo sauce, she was hooked.
“Now I love the tenders. They’re something I recommend to people all the time that’s different from what you might get at other wing places,” she said.
It’s been about a month since the opening and the Crain family is still getting settled in the area. But, there are plans to open two more Maricopa County franchises, though official locations have not been set.
“We love it, and we think people that try our product will enjoy it just as much,” she said.
Epic Wings N’ Things
9524 W. Camelback Road,
Suite C100, Glendale