After Jerry Uebel retired from his role as a Glendale community police officer in 2007, he mulled the idea of running a restaurant.
Then he discovered WingStop, a Texas-based chain that specializes in chicken wings, which he thought would be a perfect fit for the area. Uebel and his business partner, Jay Hoehn, opened a store on Verdugo Boulevard in La Cañada earlier this month.
“I grew up in this area,” said Uebel. “We have a lot of people coming in that know both of us.”
The restaurant has been busy since it opened, he said.
“We’re happy,” said Uebel. “We want to give back to the community.”
The restaurant offers chicken wings mixed with a choice of various sauces, from Cajun to lemon pepper. The menu also includes chicken sandwiches and meals that include French fries.
WingStop is one of several businesses to open in La Cañada Flintridge this year. Rita’s Italian Ice and Blaze Pizza, and Goodie Girls Cupcakes recently opened on Foothill Boulevard. The current commercial vacancy rate in the city is more than 4%.
About 70% of the orders the store receives are for take-out orders, said Uebel, but the restaurant has become a space for people to congregate.
Uebel said he didn’t expect the restaurant to become a hang-out joint. “Our only regret is that we didn’t get a bigger place.”