The newest addition to Court Street in Athens, Wings Over Athens is actually a part of a chain of 30 Wings Over… locations generally spread throughout the East Coast and Midwest, based in Massachusetts. The airplane-themed wings place boasts the added accessibility of being a late-night option for food, and therefore you’ll find it near many a college campus, dishing out wings by the pound to nightcrawlers and bargoers. The wings are the crux of the menu and I can see the appeal of a place like this to the intoxicated. It replaces Killer Tomato, which closed shop down the street.
So the options, named for aircraft, are mostly wings sold by the weight, not by the number, which arguably ensures a more even serving. It gets a little hard to eat them, though, when the wings get as big as they do (above is about 4 pieces) and it gets a lot like eating extra-large chicken fingers covered in sauce. Also, served with warm ranch. Have you ever done that? So much for finger food, I think.
There are a small number of alternative items to choose from, mostly sandwiches and ribs and other fried sides, which is fine in and of itself, but the problem here is the things have a great texture but a mediocre flavor. The sauce is supposed to be the boss. While things look generally very delicious, the flavor falls flat. I’ve had worse, but I’ve certainly had better, too. That kind of casts a negative pall on everything you try, because all of it is served in one of the five varieties of (usually) liquid flavor: buffalo sauces, BBQ sauces, teriyaki sauces, and … everything else.
The service here is good. While most of the people working are college kids, they seem to manage things well. Food comes quickly and any queries about the food are answered helpfully. It’s a friendly kind of place, which is important when it nightly runs through the rigors of a line of intoxicated people. Prices are slightly inflated though. Per capita, most of the other chains in town can do a small order of wings for cheaper than what this place does, but the trade-off of late-night convenience probably balances things out.
I’d also watch out for the crowded weekend nights and post-bar hours, as that seems to be when the lines get the longest. There aren’t a lot of seats in the restaurant, so I’d make sure to expect you’ll be walking home with what you get. In all though, Wings Over is a quaint little place, a chain which seems to have harnessed its potential and found a niche. It’s worth a visit.
- The wings are served by the pound, and with the huge variety of sauces it’s hard not to find something you like.
- Food here is good and portable, but it’s not finger food. Bring a fork and a napkin or two.
- The generous hours here mean it’s an option for food just about any time of the day or night.