Biz Buzz: Popular chain opening its first eastern Idaho location this month

Wing Stop, a restaurant known for its selection of buffalo-style chicken wings, is opening in Idaho Falls at the end of June. | Courtesy BizMojo.com

Do you want to know what’s happening in the eastern Idaho business scene? We’ve got you covered. Here is a rundown of this week’s business news across the valley.

BIZ BRIEF

IDAHO FALLS

Texas-based wing franchise opening in Idaho Falls soon

Wing Stop

Wing Stop is slated to open at the end of June inside the old Kiwi Loco building at 3198 South 25th East in Idaho Falls. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS – A Texas-based restaurant chain is opening its first location in eastern Idaho this month.

Wing Stop, which is known for its selection of buffalo-style chicken wings, is opening in Sagewood Plaza in the building formerly occupied by Kiwi Loco at 3198 South 25th East in Idaho Falls.

Owner Jake Lindsay tells EastIdahoNews.com he’s planning to open sometime at the end of June.

“We are trying very hard to do a soft opening at the end of June,” Lindsay says. “I don’t know if it’s going to be a grand opening or just a heavily marketed opening thereafter once we get our feet wet.”

Renovations got underway in March, several months after Lindsay signed the lease on the building. Wind River Construction is the contractor for the project.

The menu will include 11 different flavors of traditional bone-in and boneless chicken wings. Some of the most popular flavors are the classic hot, lemon pepper and spicy Korean. Other menu items include chicken strips and fresh-cut fries from potatoes grown on Wada Farms in Idaho Falls.

“When I went to training back in Dallas, they were excited that the Idaho boys were coming because that’s who they have their potato contracts with,” says Lindsay.

RELATED | New and old local restaurants are casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic

Kiwi Loco closed in August 2020 after five months of business and was a casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lindsay is a huge fan of wings and felt Idaho Falls was a good location for a franchise location. As the owner of Jimmy John’s in the strip next door, Lindsay says this particular spot provided a good opportunity to enhance his restauranteur experience.

“Wing Stop is a very night-driven business, whereas Jimmy John’s is more of a lunch-driven business. I felt like it would be a good mix to diversify my restaurant options,” he says.

Wing Stop first opened in 1994 as a small, privately-owned restaurant in Garland, Texas, according to BizMojo.com. It opened its first franchised location in 1997 and has since grown to include 1,500 locations across the U.S. Each store is decorated with a 1930s and ’40s pre-jet aviation theme.

The decor inside Wing Stop in Idaho Falls. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

There are currently two locations in the Boise area. The Idaho Falls store will be the third location in Idaho.

Once the restaurant is up and running, Lindsay says he’s planning to open another store in Rexburg, Pocatello and Twin Falls.

“I have a really great team — a district manager named Spencer Price and another manager named Josh Nate. They’re going to be helping me getting those up and running. If business goes well, we’ll look at doing more Wing Stops,” says Lindsay. “We’ve had this in our pocket for a while, and we’re excited to bring Wing Stop to Idaho Falls and get rolling.”

Lindsay anticipates the restaurant being open 11 a.m to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday with an 11 p.m. or later closing time Friday and Saturday.

Wing Stop interior

Construction is winding down on the interior of Wing Stop in Idaho Falls. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

BIZ BITS

Local businesses partner for first-ever drone and fireworks show this month

BLACKFOOT – Bingham Healthcare and Idaho Central Credit Union are joining forces to present the 2021 Liberty Fireworks Show. The companies have added a drone light show that will be paired with the fireworks to make this year’s show even more impressive. This extraordinary display will be held Saturday, June 26, at 10:05 p.m. at Jensen’s Grove in Blackfoot.
 
The Bingham/ICCU Liberty Fireworks Show is the concluding event of the Celebrate Blackfoot Community Festival which begins at 9 a.m. and has activities and food vendors throughout the
day.

CEI announces plan for new tech building

An artistic rendering of the Future Tech Building at CEI in Idaho Falls. | Courtesy Todd Wightman

IDAHO FALLS – College of Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls has released the latest design concepts for its new future Tech building. The college is aggressively fundraising for the state-of-the-art facility and hopes to complete the project in late 2023 or early 2024. The proposed 88,000 square-foot, two-story building will house current and future career technical education programs that will advance workforce and education capabilities in energy, environment and technology.

The Future Tech building will create a new gateway to campus along 25th East/Hitt Road at the traffic light and intersection with Walmart. The building site is located at the north end of campus, expanding the campus quad northward and connecting with Future Tech.

The projected cost of the building is $40 million, which is coming from grant funds and money set aside by the school.

Members of local utility company will elect 3 new board members this month

ASHTON – Fall River Electric members will be electing three board members in June from a slate of seven candidates. Each year, owner-members of the Co-op have the opportunity to elect three board members that will each serve a three-year term. The candidates are running from three of the nine districts, including District 1 Rexburg/Rigby area, District 5 that encompasses an area from northwest Driggs through the Tetonia and Felt area, and District 6, which is the Ashton area. All members of the cooperative are eligible to vote for these candidates, no matter where they live. Voting can be done online, by mail-in ballot or in person at the cooperative’s Energy Expo to be held on June 19 at North Fremont High School in Ashton.

The winners will be announced at the conclusion of the business meeting portion of the Energy Expo.

Click here for more information.

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