Shelby County’s first Wingstop restaurant opens off 280

By ROBYN JAMES | Special to the Reporter

NORTH SHELBY – When we go out on a wing and a prayer, it means we step out in faith to fulfill a special dream and hope and pray we succeed. This is exactly the story of the Norcross family, who opened Birmingham’s first Wingstop Restaurant at the Inverness Corners shopping center off U.S. 280 on Monday, July 20.

What started more than 25 years ago as a small Texas buffalo styled chicken wing joint has had soaring success, growing to more than 1,400 locations in seven different countries. Now that includes the first Shelby County location.

The Norcross family purchased the very first franchise back then and now own several of Wingstop’s franchises across the country.

“We’re thrilled to begin serving the Birmingham metro area with the opening of our Inverness Corners location. With the offering of classic wings, boneless wings, and tenders all hand sauced and tossed in our 11 signature flavors, plus our craveable sides and dips, there is something for everyone at Wingstop,” franchise owner Ronnie Norcross said.

With the company’s motto being “we are not in the wing business, we are in the flavor business,” folks have been known to travel far to get a taste of their secret signature wings and chicken tenders, and they are just as famous for their fresh hand cut and tossed seasoned fries and homemade dipping sauces.

A good example of just how faithful Wingstop patrons can be is that of a local North Shelby Church Pastor, who, after eating at a Wingstop restaurant during his travels began telling local residents about his experience and how he has prayed for one to come to Shelby County.

You can imagine his delight when he heard the Inverness Corner location was opening and his prayers were finally answered.

That same Pastor was at the grand opening this week and brought along several of his church members to enjoy the food and unique Wingstop experience.

“Our first franchise we started in Texas so many years ago included my father as the owner, manager, and cook, and me as the cashier. I am now a local Alabama resident and we are working on opening up more Wingstops in Hoover, Bessemer, Roebuck, and Center Point in the near future” said Nicole Norcross, District Manager for the restaurants.

Wingstop tries to be a family and community oriented business, which has led to them making a difference in the Birmingham-metro area during a difficult time amid COVID-19 by delivering their wings, tenders and sides to local healthcare workers and first responders the week of their grand opening.

The new location is inside the Inverness Corners shopping center next to On Tap Sports Café and Mellow Mushroom. You can find more information on Facebook or call them at (205) 824-0025.