Smitty’s Wings is the latest restaurant to hit Sistrunk Boulevard

Extra Sauce on My Drums Please:

 By Clayton Gutzmore

Chicken wings are one of the simpler yet most creative dishes you can make. Depending on how you season it, cook it, or what sauce you dress it in, two restaurants with the same flavored wings may not taste the same.

The distinction is the aim of former State Senator Chris Smith’s restaurant Sistrunk Smitty’s Wings. Pivoting from politics, Smith, along with his wife Desorae Giles-Smith, opened the restaurant back in the fall on Sistrunk Blvd. Not only are they focusing on serving the best wings you can get in Fort Lauderdale, but they also want to provide a nice dining experience in the historic neighborhood, “I want to give people another reason to come on Sistrunk. People that have done well have moved out west and they only come here for Church. Now, they can come here for entertainment as well,” said Chris Smith, Owner of Sistrunk Smitty’s Wings.

Chris Smith, Owner, assisting customers

Sistrunk Smitty’s Wings is located at 1134 NW 6th street in Fort Lauderdale. The restaurant opened on November 28, 2020, offering both dine-in and take-out. With a ratio of 60 percent of take-out orders and 40 percent dine-in, Smitty’ has been doing well through the pandemic of Covid 19, “It has been a challenge; Covid slowed us down during construction. As a new business, the good thing is that we can grow slowly. When COVID calms down and we start to get more people, we will be past our learning curve” said Smith.

Sistrunk Smitty’s Wings has a variety of 20 sauces to drench your wings in. Their collection ranges from the standard flavors like buffalo and lemon pepper to unique flavors like Hennesy and bourbon. Their signature sauce that most customers return for is Smitty’s sauce, an orange pepper sauce combined with hot sauce and honey, “ I like lemon pepper but depending on where you go it’s either hit or miss. With Smitty’s sauce, we found an orange pepper flavor and mixed that with honey to give it its sweet and spicy taste,” said Smith.

Customers who visit Sistrunk Smittys will be impressed with the presentation of the restaurant.

Smitty’s has a wide dining room with Black historical figures who are connected to Fort Lauderdale on the wall. Connected to the dining room is a large patio that sits on the side of Sistrunk Blvd. These two spaces are divided by two large retractable garage doors which gives the guest the chance to enjoy indoor or outdoor dining. During his research, Smith noticed that most Black-owned establishments you couldn’t see inside. Smith did not want to follow this trend, “My wife and I were in Miami and we passed by a few Black-owned restaurants. Most of them either had no windows or one window that was heavily tinted. We couldn’t see inside and couldn’t tell what type of establishment it was,” said Smith.

An intentional decision Smith made when opening Smitty’s is allowing Ex-offenders to come on as staff. According to Smith, He did a criminal background check on his staff members but didn’t make any hiring decisions based on that. Smith wanted to hire people from the community and give them an opportunity.

“When I was a teenager, I caught a slew of charges by doing stuff I shouldn’t be doing. Now that those are in the past, I wanted to get this job because it seemed like a good endeavor” said Akeem Wright, a waiter at Smitty’s Wings.

Under Smith’s management, Wright along with members of the staff, showed tremendous change in both character and work ethic being employed at Smitty’s Wings, “I really enjoy my job. They are really understanding and they are willing to work with you. I genuinely love it,” said Wright.



About Carma Henry 20175 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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