Restaurant News & Reviews

Former NFL star closes his Wichita chicken wing restaurant, plans a food truck

Former NFL star Kamerion Wimbley told the Wichita Eagle last month hat he hoped to expand Wings & Things into other cities.
Former NFL star Kamerion Wimbley told the Wichita Eagle last month hat he hoped to expand Wings & Things into other cities. File photo

Wings & Things, the chicken-wing restaurant that operated at 2800 E. Central since 2013, is becoming a food truck.

Its owner, retired NFL star Kamerion Wimbley, told the Eagle on Friday he had closed the restaurant and will open a Wings & Things food truck, likely in January.

Wimbley said he’s trying to focus his efforts on his Stadium Status Fitness business, which operates at 2618 E. 21st Street. He’s currently in discussions to open a second gym “in the downtown area.”

That, and he’s seen sales slump at similar national chicken-wing restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings.

Wimbley said for the restaurant to really thrive, it would have taken a “a significant capital injection to really reinvent what we were doing inside of there.”

It just made more sense to move to the food-truck concept, he said, so he can focus on his other business ventures.

“We think that this model will work better for us,” Wimbley said. “We felt it was in our best interest to get the food truck and go operate in locations where we’ve been requested to have wings at.”

Over the years, Wings & Things has won a variety of awards for its chicken wings — it was voted the 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Wichita Eagle Reader’s Choice winner, the 2016 Wichita Beer Fest wing competition award-winner, and the 2017 Chicken Wings Fest Contest Judges Choice winner.

Another restaurant will move into the space Wings & Things currently occupies, though Wimbley will not run the restaurant.

Wimbley said he’s glad to be able to keep Wings & Things alive via the food truck.

He has yet to determine how often the food truck will operate.

“For me the restaurant was a success. I was able to accomplish everything I set out to do,” Wimbley said. “I’d like to thank everybody that came through and supported the restaurant — we’ve made millions in revenue throughout the years. We were able to provide a lot of people with jobs and opportunities.”

The restaurant briefly closed earlier this year after being seized by the state for non-payment of taxes. It reopened after Wimbley’s KW Growth Holdings LLC repaid the state $82,329.50 in debt, which was incurred through what management at the time described as administrative error.

Wimbley, a 2002 Wichita Northwest High School grad, was drafted in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He played on defense for the Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans before retiring from the NFL in 2015.

Wimbley opened Wings & Things in 2013 with the help of his aunt, Valerie Mitchell.

To stay up-to-date with the latest Wings & Things developments, check its Facebook page at Facebook.com/WingsandThingsWichitaKansas.

Matt Riedl covers arts and entertainment news for the Wichita Eagle and has done so since 2015. He maintains the Keeper of the Plans blog on Facebook, dedicated to keeping Wichitans abreast of all things fun.
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