Wingstop Restaurant to Open in Detroit, Honors Tuskegee Airmen


Wingstop, a national franchise restaurant that focuses on chicken wings, will open an outlet on Friday at Detroit’s Gateway Shopping Center as part of an in-state expansion plan that includes 28 locations over seven years, including four to six within the next 12 months.

Led by Detroit native John Draper, the expansion includes locations in Roseville, Taylor, Sterling Heights, Farmington, Woodhaven, and Lansing.

“I’ve spent over 40 years in the (Michigan) market,” says Draper, who opened his first Michigan Wingstop franchise in Southfield last year. “I know the community. In my opinion, it’s one of the strongest markets I’ve seen.

Though the store décor is traditionally aviation-themed, Wingstop’s Detroit location will highlight the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American military aviators in the U.S armed forces.

“It’s a tribute to the city and to having that pride,” Draper says. “We decided to get art commissioned and put our own twist on the look, to be reflective of the community we’re in. I’m very happy to be able to do this in my hometown.”

In honor of the grand opening — which will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Friday — members of the Tuskegee Airmen’s Detroit chapter will be in attendance along with local business leaders. Wingstop is located at the Gateway Shopping Center, 1331 W. Eight Mile Rd.