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Review: Wings & Things attracts diverse crowd

By Clay Paul Dyess
On January 28, 2011

Four years in a small-town university can do wonders to the psyche. It can cause fear of long drives, apathy at the idea of originality and fear of the unknown. However, it is with those changes that the freshness of a new ideal can flourish. Such is the case of "Wings & Things," a local startup that took to the heels of another local establishment in hopes of intriguing the student body of Texas A&M-Commerce.

"It's bright, fun and clean," owner Michael Crain said of the new restaurant, which inhibits the space that "Mak's Place" once filled.

Crain has made it his mission to bring Commerce an establishment that is attractive to college students and townsfolk.

The restaurant features three large televisions, which display the newest and most contested sporting events. In a move reminiscent of larger venues, each table in the general seating area is comprised of an adequate booth and smaller LCD television.

"The menu caters to families as well as students," Crain said.

Indeed it does, with offerings from platters of Southern-style catfish to baby back ribs.

Upon entering the establishment, one is greeted by an amicable staff, most of whom are fellow students, and an atmosphere that is relaxed and welcoming. Crain has made it a point to serve large quantities of food at a sound price, and the recipe for both quality and economy seem to deliver.

Along with Crain's desire to attend to local students' need for food and relaxation, the establishment allows for liquor consummation and serves a broad base of popular beers. Special events such as "Karaoke Tuesdays" and "50 cent wing Thursdays" accent an obvious desire to cater to the student crowd.

Aside from the main dining/TV area, there is a room devoted to pool, darts and air hockey. There is also an area unique to Commerce bars/clubs: a "chill lounge." In this lounge, guest can seek shelter from the music and happenings of an eventful night to enjoy conversation and avoid the melee of rowdy patrons.

In short, albeit new, "Wings & Things" seems to cater to a casual crowd looking for tasty yet affordable food and beer. During the day, it is an amicable place for a family to sit and jostle over the last chicken wing. At night, it serves as medium for the young and adventurous to explore. Though the comings and goings of Commerce dining seem to flutter from semester to semester, the model that "Wings & Things" offers should be an easily accessible establishment for students living in town and looking for a local venue that escapes stereotypes and expectations.

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