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The wing is the thing in Eagle

EVE JR Crickets TS 02-08-08
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EAGLE, Colorado ” According to the folks at J.R. Crickets, there’s a central truth when it comes to their fare: Chicken is chicken but the wing is the thing.

Buffalo wings, to be precise, are the specialty at Eagle’s newest eatery.

J.R. Crickets is the latest in a chain of restaurants centered around Atlanta, Ga. Owner Paul Juliano is indeed a native of the New York City that put Buffalo wings on the map. But 26 years ago, he first brought the city’s signature dish to Georgia.

In 1980, together with a group of friends, he moved to Atlanta to work for a fellow who had opened a wing place in the southern city. The first J.R. Crickets served a combination of wings, pizza and subs.

“In 1980 when we got to Atlanta, no one sold wings but us,” Juliano explains. Georgians were a bit slow to embrace Buffalo wings, but over time J.R. Crickets took off. Eventually, the first restaurant dropped pizza from the menu and never looked back.

Today there are nine J.R. Crickets outlets in the greater Atlanta area, as well as restaurants in other states. Two years ago, Juliano made good on a promise he made to his wife to eventually live in Colorado. The Juliano family settled in Eagle.

Juliano always planned to open a local J.R. Crickets. When the former Strickland’s ice cream space became available, he saw just the location he was looking for.

“This is a great location in a very busy plaza,” he said. “I figured I should do a J.R. Crickets here in Eagle to get people interested in doing them all down the I-70 corridor.”

Inside, the restaurant decor projects a neighborhood joint atmosphere. Three flat screen televisions broadcast sports programs and diners can enjoy a beer or a glass of wine with their food. As for the menu, Juliano promises Buffalo wing connoisseurs will not be disappointed.

“We do original Buffalo-style wings better than anyone else,” he said.

The reason why he makes such a sweeping claim includes J.R. Cricket’s special sauce, which is sold by the bottle at the restaurant; and the operation’s cooking rules, which revolve around cooking to order. Juliano noted that at lots of establishments, wings are precooked and then kept in a warmer until served. Delivering freshly cooked wings is one of the reasons why J.R. Crickets’ quality is high, he said.

“We are trying to teach customers to phone in orders ahead of time,” Juliano continued. That way, they can enjoy a freshly cooked meal without the wait.

In addition to Buffalo sauce, the restaurant offers other specialty flavors including lemony pepper, buffalo terriyaki and three mile island (hot) sauce. Juliano especially recommends the lemony pepper sauce, which also includes a bit of lime and cilantro to give it a unique kick.

Along with wings, J.R. Crickets offers a large array of sandwiches and wraps, seafood entrees and salads. Baby back ribs are another favorite. For people who want to share the restaurant’s fare with a crowd, a full catering menu is offered. The full menu can be viewed at the business website ” http://www.jrcrickets.com.

J.R. Crickets is open at 11 a.m. daily. Monday through Thursday, the kitchen is open until 11 p.m., on Friday and Saturday until midnight and on Sunday until 10 p.m. The restaurant phone number is 328-WINGS (9467).


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