Article By Solana Shellner
Living in Memphis, Jacqueline Hackett and her husband, Floyd, saw hot wing restaurants all over town. Like Starbucks in Seattle, it seemed as if there was one on every corner.
But during a trip to Joplin, Mo., for a family reunion, Floyd noticed there were no hot wings restaurants in that city. So after working for the Pfizer Inc. pharmaceutical firm for years, he decided to do something different with his career path. He already had harnessed his fry skills years before by deep frying turkeys for coworkers and family members, so cooking hot wings did not seem too far a leap.
From that point, things moved quickly. After three months of sampling wing recipes, the Hacketts, spurred by positive feedback, made the move to Joplin and opened the first Hackett Hot Wings on E. Broadway. Creating a twist on traditional “Memphis-style” wings, Jacqueline and Floyd cemented “authentic Joplin-style” wings as part of the local flavor.
Winging it proves successful
Though Floyd had no prior restaurant experience, his excitement and desire for success fueled the couple’s culinary mission. Just three days after the couple married, they made the long journey from Memphis to Joplin.
Hackett Hot Wings opened in September 2003, and has been delighting taste buds ever since. A rapidly increasing customer base spread word of the Hacketts’ signature “Joplin-style” flavor, and they soon outgrew their original space. In 2008, Hackett Hot Wings relocated to Main Street in historic downtown Joplin.
The new location has brought increased guest capacity. Though the décor suggests one is dining in Memphis, there are 13 signature Joplin hot wing flavors that make the location a local original. Varieties include Greek, lemon pepper, barbecue, Cajun, and more. Guests can choose levels of spicy “heat” that best suit their taste buds.
Interested in something other than wings? Other southern-inspired homemade menu selections include catfish, pork chop sandwiches, fried okra, and banana pudding.
Getting events on the books
The Hacketts welcome all types of family and business gatherings. They often host showers, rehearsal dinners and business meetings, but are open to any type of group.
Small groups can reserve a private upstairs dining area, while larger parties are welcome in dining areas on the lower level, which features a full sports bar.
Dining areas can be reserved for groups at a fee of $30 per hour. A deposit books your reservation, and then you are ready to begin planning your buffet-style menu. Selections average $15 per person, not including gratuity.
Hackett Hot Wings also offers carry-out catering services for off-site events.
Buoyed by an increase in new customers, the Hacketts recently announced an expansion of the property; it now totals 20,000 square feet. They also plan to complete a new upstairs banquet area, which is expected to seat up to 200 people. The new area will be disabled accessible.
Locating their business in Joplin has solidified the hometown feeling the Hacketts strove to provide to their customers. Planners who choose the restaurant for their meetings, holiday parties or fund raisers will find that their guests go home energized, happy… and full.
Hackett Hot Wings
Jacqueline Hackett, owner
520 South Main St.
Joplin MO 64801
Connect with Hackett Hot Wings on Facebook.