Wing Zone to open restaurant on Fort Carson

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Wing Zone restaurant will open Monday in Fort Carson’s mini-mall.

The sit-down restaurant offers 17 buffalo chicken wing flavors and will serve draft beer.

Wing Zone CEO and founder Matt Friedman has partnered with the Army & Air Force Exchange Services to open Wing Zone restaurants on four military bases.  The company has plans to open 15 more restaurants on military installations by the end of the year, Friedman said.

Landing a partnership with AAFES is big, he said. AAFES operates restaurants and commissary services for all branches of the military in the U.S. and in 30 countries worldwide.

“They’ve said to me, they have big plans for us, domestically and internationally,” Friedman said. “Why Wing Zone fits with AAFES is that we can get into a small footprint, which is important to them.”

In this case, AAFES is the franchise owner. Fort Carson Wing Zone store manager Janice Loundagin said this restaurant is unique among the others offered on base because it has its own sit-down area, instead of the more typical cafeteria, food-court style.

“It’s about 1,000 square feet,” she said.

Its grand opening will be in July, she said, to coincide with the newly remodeled mini-mall.

AAFES had been monitoring Wing Zone’s growth, said Michael Dillon, AAFES senior restaurant program planner.

“Now was the perfect time to add the growing brand to our expanding portfolio,” he said in a prepared statement.

Wing Zone was founded by Friedman and Adam Scott in 1991 at the University of Florida in Friedman’s fraternity house with $500. This year, the company has 100 stores and expects $45 million in annual revenue, Friedman said.

“Hopefully this will spur some additional locations in the Colorado market,” Friedman said