As soon as the former Jack Ruby site beneath King William Street was available to lease, Tomas Smith picked up the phone. “I always thought it would make such a dope sports bar,” he says.
While there are decent places around town for watching sport, Smith says we were lacking “the kind of classic sports bars you find on every corner” in the US.
Wing It fills that void with an Americana theme and a tried-and-tested formula: hot wings, cold beer and live sports “every damn day”. It’s a joint venture by Smith, Kyle Young and Steph Gibbs, who also own tapas bar La Rambla and cocktail bar Therapy on Peel Street, and newly opened Piccoli Piatti in North Adelaide.
Divide Design Company helped rejig the CBD space. It’s been splashed with the American flag’s colours, plus there’s on-brand chain-link fencing, a shrine of sports memorabilia and reupholstered tan-leather booths. A “Locker Room” sign leads to the bathrooms.
The existing layout leant itself to sports-watching, says Smith. “There are so many nooks and crannies we can do different sports in with sound on, without it affecting the others.”
At least three games will screen at any one time across 10 newly installed screens. Expect NBA, NFL, NHL and Major League Baseball from the States, as well as AFL (“We’ll air every game,” says Smith), cricket and NRL.
Opening hours may be extended for big sporting events. “We’re trying to get an extended licence for the [UEFA] Champions League final … it starts at 4.30am,” Smith says. Follow the bar on Facebook and Instagram for the latest.
If spectating doesn’t quite cut it there’s a pool table and dartboard. A foosball table and Playstation (for FIFA and NBA2K) are coming.
Hungry work, either way. Pull up your sleeves for a basket-full of wings. “Last week we churned through 300 kilos,” says Smith. They come by the kilo – or half – and are slathered in your sauce of choice (try buffalo, tonkatsu or Thai nam jim). Cauliflower “wings” are a vegan alternative. There’s also a buttermilk fried chicken burger, crispy-chicken tacos and loaded fries.
All chooks, sourced locally by Something Wild, are organic, free range and grain fed. You’ll get your hands dirty, but keep your conscience clean. Like Smith, who was recently lured out of vegetarianism. “I was actually vego up until we opened,” he says. “My thing is sustainable meat, and I can eat this chicken without feeling super guilty.”
Quintessential American brews, such as Coors and Blue Moon, are on tap alongside a few local draughts. Or there are tinnies of Pabst Blue Ribbon, Brooklyn Lager, and Coopers Pale and Session Ales. A portion of the sales of “Coors for a Cause” (and all pool-table profits) goes to Hutt St Centre, which combats homelessness.
The easy-drinking wine list is SA-only, and there are three cocktails – an Old Fashioned, a Negroni and a Margarita.
89 King William Street, Adelaide
Mon to Fri 11.30am–late
Sat & Sun 12pm–late