PULLMAN — Fast food spot Wingstop has opened in Pullman.
Wingstop opened Saturday at 756 E. 111th St. The chicken wing restaurant occupies a once-vacant spot at the 111th Street Gateway Retail Center, which also hosts Lexington Betty Smokehouse, Blue Door Neighborhood Center and Potbelly Sandwich Shop.
Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) said he’s excited to add another national chain to the Roseland-Pullman area.
“We’re always aggressively going after different businesses to come into the area … and we thought Wingstop would be a good amenity to plug into the vacancy hole that we had on 111th Street,” he said.
Franchise owner Vipul Patel owns Wingstop and Dunkin Donuts locations across Chicago and its suburbs, Michigan and northwest Indiana, said Trevor Clements, the vice president of restaurant operations for Patel’s group of Wingstop franchises.
Pullman’s recent economic development was part of what drew Patel and Wingstop to the area, Clements said. Pullman stood out as a neighborhood where there seemed to be a good opportunity for Wingstop to enter at a key time, he said.
“Our team kind of jumped at the opportunity to get some space and be able to join kind of some of that exciting news that they were hearing about,” Clements said. “Not only the National Monument — around Pullman, its history, as well as some of the new businesses that are serving that community.
“And now, having had the chance to go through the building process, opening that location … it was even more obvious that we had made a great decision to join the community.”
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Patel has owned Wingstop franchises since 2012, Clements said.
Patel made a $1,000 donation to the nearby Pullman Community Center for programs and operation costs, said Brian Berg, a representative for Beale. The donation could help sponsor a team or support youth that normally wouldn’t be able to afford team costs, Berg said.
Patel and Wingstop also have committed to donating 30 percent of the store’s earnings made 5-10 p.m. one Wednesday each month for the first year to the Pullman Community Center, Clements said.
“Knowing that you have a business person that’s giving back and has the will to give back speaks volumes,” Beale said. “And I think we’re going to continue to promote businesses like that in the area, because that’s what it takes.”
Clements said 70 percent of the restaurant’s staff are from the community.
“Anytime we open up in any new neighborhoods … we’re always wanting to also be a face of that community,” Clements said. “We don’t want to just come in as strangers to try and serve the community. It’s very important to us that we have a face of the community, as well.”
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