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Fast-growing, chicken-wing restaurant chain plans first move into St. Louis

The restaurant chain is set to break into Missouri with as many as 10 locations.

ST. LOUIS — Atomic Wings, a New York-based, chicken-wing restaurant chain, is set to break into Missouri with as many as 10 locations, the first coming later this year to the St. Louis region.

The restaurant, which opened its first location in New York City in 1989, began franchising in 2016 and has since opened locations in New York state, Connecticut and Maryland. It has plans to expand to 14 more states, including California and Texas.

Mike Domico, a Chicago native who moved to St. Louis more than 10 years ago to oversee a different restaurant chain's franchising plans, signed a 10-unit deal to bring the concept to Missouri, with its first location set to open in somewhere in the St. Louis metro area, hopefully this summer, he said.

In addition to traditional grilled wings and boneless thigh bites with a choice of more than a dozen sauces, Atomic Wings' menu includes chicken sandwiches, burgers and waffle fries, as well as salads, gyros and sides.

Domico will franchise the first location himself, and he is actively scouting for a location in the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County or St. Charles County. He described his ideal location as being within a strip mall, where it would require fewer build-out costs and could allow the restaurant to open more quickly than if here to build from scratch.

Typical Atomic Wings locations fill between 1,200 and 2,000 square feet and employ about 10 workers, he said. The restaurant’s food practices are less labor intense than other fast-casual chains, which allows the restaurant to operate with a relatively low number of employees and gives it a competitive advantage amid current labor shortages, he continued.

Domico will serve as Atomic Wings' area representative for Missouri, making him responsible for franchise sales and support services to other franchisees in the state. As part of that, his first restaurant will also serve as a training site for future franchises.

Click here for the full story from the St. Louis Business Journal.

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