BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — When Hosam Afifi left work in the surgical industry, he decided to start an “active retirement” by opening Wing It On!, a new Main Street eatery in Bridgeport.
“That’s what I told me wife — active retirement,” he said. “She said, 'I see the active, but not the retirement!’”
But Afifi, originally from Egypt, said he’s enjoying the restaurant he opened five weeks ago. And he was happy to welcome Mayor Joe Ganim to its official ribbon-cutting Wednesday.
“I was originally a doctor and pharmacist, so I like to know how things are made and what goes into food,” said Afifi, a former American executive director for a large German surgical company.
That doesn’t mean he’ll share the secret recipe for the breaded wings that come in 22 flavors from mild garlic parm and hickory BBQ to the smokin’ Firestarter and Wings of Prey.
The shop sells both classic-style wings and a boneless variety. All wings come with blue cheese, ranch or garlic paste.
Wing It On! also offers a variety of burgers, wraps, salads and sandwiches, including a bacon, egg and cheese burger and a WIO club wrap with turkey, bacon, cheese and chipotle ranch dressing.
The franchise is part of a small company that originated in Waterbury.
Being a Trumbull resident, Afifi thought Bridgeport, with its nearby colleges and diverse population, would be an ideal location for his new business.
“Bridgeport’s got lots of potential,” he said. “The city is on the right track.”
Ganim, who sampled a few boneless wings before officially cutting the grand opening ribbon, said he likes Afifi’s thinking.
“The true backbone of any community is small businesses,” he said. “I’m so glad they picked here to open a new franchise and the create jobs, good jobs.”
Afifi is also involved in a New Haven development inspired by multi-vendor New York City food hall such at Eataly and City Kitchen. The Cheshire Street hall will feature seven different types of dining, including swarma, pizza and an ice cream shop.
He believes a similar idea would work well in Bridgeport and he’s looking into possibilities.
“I think it could be very attractive here,” he said.
Located at 4514 Main St., Wing It On! is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Visit wingiton.com for the menu or to order online.
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