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This is the new larger store prototype for Atomic Wings.

Why Atomic Wings went bigger (and boozier) for its new store prototype

New York City-based Atomic Wings has a new restaurant design with 40 more seats, spiked milkshakes, and TVs to encourage guests to linger longer

While many restaurants have announced new store prototypes over the past several years, most of these remodels shrink store square footage and add off-premises entry points to encourage omnichannel flexibility. It’s a brand story that has been told time and time again in the post-pandemic years, and it’s rare to see a restaurant take the opposite approach.

New York City-based wings concept, Atomic Wings, had previously been known as a takeout-forward wings concept with mostly smaller, urban storefronts. However, with a recent rebrand, the company is increasing its presence in suburban areas with bigger stores and alcohol on the menu for the first time. The first store using the new prototype recently opened in Greenfield, Indiana.

“We have about 40 seats in these locations, whereas our stores in Manhattan and Queens barely have 10, so we’re trying to aim for more of a dine-in element,” Atomic Wings CEO Zak Omar said. “What we’re seeing so far out of Greenfield is that people are really enjoying the atmosphere and coming in with their families and their children.”

The new Atomic Wings stores will range from 1,600-2,000 square feet, have TVs playing sporting events, and will have a more “fresh, fun and vibrant” feel. So far, the company has about 26 stores, with 150 more agreements signed across the country (about 60% of which will sport the new prototype). The new prototypes will mostly be located in suburban America, specifically the Midwest, with continued expansion in New York and New Jersey.

Additionally, the new locations will serve alcohol for the first time, including local craft beers that change depending on the location and spiked milkshakes like salted caramel and peanut butter, as well as regular milkshakes for underage and non-alcohol-consuming customers.

“I'm sure you've heard of beer and wings, right?” Omar said. “We figured if we're going to kind of capitalize on that dine-in element, why not offer that for that family so that the entire family can come in, so the parents can partake in adult milkshakes while their children have a regular one…. We want people to start coming back inside our lobbies and filling them up.”

Besides beer and boozy milkshakes, Omar said that Atomic Wings is expanding its menu in other new ways, like the brand’s first-ever spicy chicken sandwich, which was added to the menu a few months ago. It’s a hand-battered, made to order Nashville hot chicken-style sandwich. Atomic Wings now offers chicken sandwiches in three varieties, including barbecue and chicken buffalo ranch.

“We want to be known for more than just wings,” Omar said. “Our wings are great and that's what we built their name on, but we have a lot more to offer….we just feel like we needed a wider offering to capture more repeat customers. If you have a wings once a week, now you can have wings one day, and a sandwich the next, or come in for a milkshake when it gets hot out.”

Contact Joanna at [email protected]

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