Wayne and Kristy Brown are living their dream of owning a restaurant.
On Oct. 25, the couple opened Jammin Wings Sports Bar and Grill, 2590 Freeway Blvd. in Brooklyn Center, after purchasing the building this year and completely renovating the interior.
The Browns originally planned to build their restaurant in Albertville, where they live, but the existing space they found in Brooklyn Center ended up being the perfect fit, Kristy said.
The former T.G.I. Fridays and Oak City Sports Tavern closed in last November. Kristy said they originally planned to lease the space from the owner of Oak City Sports Tavern, but bought it instead with plans to turn Jammin Wings into a franchise.
“We just decided to go for it,” she said.
Kristy works full-time as a shift manager at Walmart in Brooklyn Center. Wayne has a full-time job with United Health Group. But they’ve always wanted to add careers as restaurateurs to their résumés.
For Wayne, it’s been a lifelong dream and provides the opportunity to develop a menu with foods originating from his home country of Jamaica.
He will be in charge of the kitchen and bar. Kristy is handling the management duties of hiring, training and payroll.
“It’s a good mix,” she said.
The couple has put their own touch on the interior of the restaurant after the former owner demolished everything in the space. They had to start from scratch. On the plus side, the demolition revealed that the interior needed a good cleaning before repairs were made, Kristy said.
Now, other than a few finishing touches on the décor, Jammin Wings is open for business.
Customers have their pick of wings, hamburgers, burritos and pizza on the menu. There are 15 beers on tap, including many local brews from Minnesota, Wayne said.
Wings, the restaurant’s signature item, have varieties seasoned with different sauces and rubs from Jamaica.
When the couple is more settled, Kristy said they would like to host “Caribbean Nights,” with additional items from Jamaica on the menu like sticky rice and deep-fried plantains.
A grand opening is expected to be scheduled around Thanksgiving.
Kristy said they hope their customer base is from hotels and nearby businesses, as well as residents of Brooklyn Center.
Sports fans can have their pick of games to watch on the restaurant’s 20 televisions, she said.
A patio will be available for outdoor seating in the warmer months.
After buying the building, Kristy said they are in Brooklyn Center to stay and would eventually like to relocate to the area from Albertville.
The couple expects to open three more restaurants in the next two years, Kristy said.
Contact Katy Zillmer at [email protected]