In a Wingaddicts blog post earlier in the year we floated out the idea that just maybe Naugatuck was the “Wing Capital” of Connecticut. With nine Wingaddicts episodes shot in Naugy and another three recommendations that we haven’t yet explored, it was a compelling argument.
"But wait," said Southington. “We’d agree to a 10-round fight, winner take all.”
“Let’s rumble!” answered Naugy.
In the maroon corner, in the garnet and grey trunks, with a population of 31,347 people . . . the Naugatuck Greyhounds!
In the blue corner, wearing blue and white trunks, weighing in with a population of 43,807 . . . the Southington Blue Knights!
Naugatuck, Southington; both towns please go back to your neutral corners. When you hear the bell, come out fighting!
While Southington definitely has a size advantage, Naugy has almost twice the number of Wingaddicts (452-229). But this contest will not be set up like your traditional heavyweight bout. It’s a tag team competition. At the conclusion of every round, each side is required to go back to its corner and “tag” in a partner. This should be fun.
The Southington Blue Knights come right out swinging, leading off the fight with Sliders Grill & Bar. Sliders is a monster, having been in business for nearly 30 years and posts up over 35 wing flavors on its menu and dozens of awards. It’s one of the state’s absolute wing titans and is on every Wingaddicts “best” list.
Not at all intimidated, the Naugatuck Greyhounds send out Tuck’s Tavern. Tuck’s doesn’t have the longevity nor does it serve nearly the number of wing flavors, but also stacks up as a mighty opponent. Tuck’s is smaller, but a town favorite and has a wing-cooking technique that is unrivaled anywhere.
These two wing powerhouses slug it out almost resulting in a first-round KO!
Saved by the bell, both opponents return to their corners. Round 2 begins with Groggy Frogg strutting out onto the canvas for the Knights. The Frogg, like Sliders, has won numerous local awards for its wings and completely dominates the rest of the field in wing-flavor selection with over 60 to choose from. Groggy Frogg has been in business since 2010, and is a big town favorite.
Naugy’s answer is 66 Church. This spot opened up in 2015, as a cozy and modern American Gastropub and restaurant in the center of town. They only have six wing flavors on that menu, but they do it right.
The Greyhounds don’t have far to go at the end of Round 2, because The Hub is actually attached to their building. In addition, The Hub has the same ownership and while it’s only been in business there for a year (sister restaurant is in Ansonia), it has quickly emerged as one of the go-to spots around for the “wood-fired” wings cooked at 800-degrees in the pizza ovens. The Hub is known for its wood-fired pizza, but it’s wing game has grown from only four flavors a year ago to a solid eight (with weekly specialty wings).
Not to be outdone, Southington answers back with The Fire Place. Known for serving the “Best Pizza in Southington,” this spot opened in 2012 (walking distance from Groggy Frogg) and also fires its wings up in the pizza oven. Fire Place has seven flavors of wood-fired goodness.
Jerzie’s fires off a menu with 17 flavors, not including it’s “WOW” wing of the week. They also give you the option to get your wings “Dirt Style” copied from the legendary J.Timothy’s. It’s a good-time party spot and hangout in the north end of town.
The Victoria is the grandfather of all the spots in this match (actually grandmother). The Vic is the oldest bar in all of Naugatuck, having been serving alcohol and good times since the late 1800’s, and pumps out nine traditional flavored wings.
585 Main comes to the center of the ring to face off against 75 Center for Round 5.
75 Center could have easily battled to a draw with 66 Church (who fought in Round 2) as it’s the same owner and exactly the same menu, while in the opposing town. Meanwhile 585 Main offers up nine traditional flavors and stays open later than any other wing joint on the list.
The Station in Naugatuck meets up with Que Whiskey Kitchen in Round 6, and both are similar in that they are nicer sit-down restaurants, both with outdoor seating and expansive menu’s. Both also offer up just a few wing flavors and both are excellent. At The Station you can get traditional buffalo or cajun honey bbq. At Que, which is a barbecue joint, you order smoked wings. Also excellent.
Tipping Chair Tavern takes to the ring in Round 7 for Southington. This popular live music spot serves some of the finest breaded wings in the state. With four flavors on the menu, including its own amazing Garlic Buffalo, TCT often has weekly or monthly wing specials with eclectic flavors like Donut Wings. Naugy sends Jesse Camille’s out to face TCT in Round 7. JC’s is on the golf course at Hop Brook Golf Course and presents outdoor patios and a full fine-dinging restaurant menu. They offer seven wing flavors including their special Truffle Parmesan Wing.
Southington is not getting tired at all by Round 8, and sends out Smokin With Chris. A popular barbecue spot with beautiful wood smokers in the parking lot, this restaurant doesn’t actually smoke its wings. Deep fried in the traditional way, SWC puts out six flavors including a Maryland Old Bay.
American Forged Pub was poised to take to the ring, but temporarily closed down as the owners seek to sell the restaurant. But in it’s place, Water Street Pub (a once-strong wing spot that also temporarily closed) is now back in business and still bringing its local wing game. While the Wingaddicts haven’t yet gotten the chance to visit Water Street, the reviews are outstanding. With ten flavors on the menu, Water Street definitely holds its own.
You’d think both towns would be a little wobbly by Round 9, but no. Southington represents with Hop Haus, a modern gastropub with 28 rotating craft beers on tap. Hop Haus serves a small selection of wings in a variety of “Haus” Sauces. Meanwhile, Naugy counters with Dee-Man’s Bar and Grill up Rt 63 on the southeast end of town. Nothing fancy at Dee-Man’s. No website to visit, not much of a social media presence, but nine strong flavors of wings that owner Frank puts up against anybody’s!
For the 10th and final round, both fighters are still standing.
Southington saved a big anchor for the last round, sending out Buffalo Wild Wings. While a national chain, BWW certainly doesn’t stack up to the individually-owned local spots, they do still have “wings" in their actual name. And in their game. We’ve run out of Naugy spots to send out, but have gotten many recommendations over the past several months to try out The Corner Tavern. While we cannot personally vouch, we’ve had strong reviews from “expert” Wingaddicts in Wingaddicts Community saying that Corner Tavern is strong with its four traditional flavors.
Yes, there are more than ten places to get wings in both Southington and Naugatuck. Most bars offer some type of buffalo wing as do most pizza joints. But these are the big dogs that we’ve either filmed episodes at or had strong reviews from the outside.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we have a split decision!”
What did you expect?
Did we miss an important wing spot in either town? Or, more importantly, did we miss YOUR town? After all, the BEST wings are YOUR favorite wings! Can YOUR town go 10 Rounds? If so, let us know and we’ll put our crack team of Wingaddicts on the case!
We’ve had multiple requests for us to put together some type of a “Wing Trail” and we’re working on it. In the meantime, go smash all these spots in Naugy and Southington. That should take you a while!