My eating habits can only be described as erratic and weird. I blame kids. To me, eating is not just a form of nourishment, but an experience as well. With kids, it’s more difficult to eat appealing meals in enjoyable settings, which leads to eating like a bird at times and gorging pounds of food at others. I’m sure this is as unhealthy as it sounds.
Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the Providence Road Hubee D’s in Myers Park, with kids in tow. I expected this to be a regular Chick-Fil-A run in disguise, which equals nibbling on small people leftovers and leaving hungry.
To my surprise, I discovered not only is Hubee D’s a family friendly spot with good food — a rarity in itself, but it’s also a family friendly restaurant I’d be happy to frequent without kids — which is unheard of. The décor doesn’t cater to little ones, so if you do go without kids, you won’t feel weird or find yourself staring at kids playing in germ infested play areas.
I had wings and the buffalo chicken salad, both were fantastic. Freshly made is the key here, nothing tasted like it came out of a bag or like it had been fried in last week’s oil. These aren’t the cheapest wings you’ll find in town, but you get what you pay for. Clearly, the word is out because the lunch crowd filled the restaurant.
- The moral of the story behind Hubee D’s in Charlotte is to never underestimate the power of networking and word of mouth.
- Hubee D’s Charlotte owners Thang Nguyen and Vas Lahanas met as mallrats years ago, Nguyen was an Olympic H.S. student, working at the Frank & Stein at Carolinas Place Mall and Lahanas had moved down from NJ to help his family with Atlanta Bread Company in the same mall. During this time, they met Bruce Willette, currently CEO of Amélies, who had the Frank & Stein franchise at Eastland Mall.
- Bonded by their interest in the food industry, the three embarked on the successful Salsarita’s concept around 2000 and continued working together until they sold Salsarita’s in 2011.
- Nguyen and Lahanas were on the prowl for their next business venture when they were implored by a friend, who had just attended a Hubee D’s catered SC football party, to get down to Charleston and try the wings. Nguyen and Lahanas hauled it to Charleston and the rest is history, with the opening of Hubee D’s Providence Road location in 2013.
- Hubee D’s offers a small menu because everything is made to order. Nothing is precooked or frozen, their vegetables and lettuce are chopped in house, and fries are hand-cut. This is huge in the fast and casual food service industry.
- Though the crispy buttermilk tenders are the bestseller, the wings are clearly the star. They’re slow-hickory smoked in seasoning for hours then served with a dry rub or tossed in one of Hubee D’s 5 signature sauces.
- If you have any room after the coleslaw, cornbread, and boiled peanuts – try the homemade fried banana pudding.
- Hubee D’s offers catering and has a food truck that makes the rounds around Charlotte. They don’t deliver, unless it’s for a catering order, but Postmates Charlotte will deliver Hubee D’s if you’re within their delivery zone.
- As an added bonus and to help a mom out, Hubee D’s also serves wine and local beers on tap.
- Before Hubee D’s, the building used to be home to Stancill’s Station, a service station and local gathering spot. Hubee D’s pays tribute to the history of this building and the history of service stations along this corridor, by preserving the original street sign and incorporating tasteful and charming garage touches in the interior.
- The interior also features a décor reminiscent of a low country back porch with wooden floors, a screen divider, and a beautiful exposed wood ceiling that was discovered when the roof was opened up during retrofitting.
- Hubee D’s is a neighborhood joint. The Providence Road location employs around 15 people, many of whom are Myers Park High School students.
- Their customers live in the neighborhood and many are on a first name basis with employees. This kind of comradery is important to Nguyen and Lahanas, who wanted to keep the integrity of Stancill’s Station’s neighborhood vibe. You’ll go to Hubee D’s for the wings but you’ll stay for the hospitality.
- Hubee D’s also cares about the community they do business in with programs like Teacher of the Month and sponsorships of local teams and fundraisers.
What’s with the name?
- John Ferguson, co-founder of the original Hubee D’s in Charleston and collector of old trucks, came up with the “Hubee” when he saw an old truck and declared it looked like something that should be called a Hubee. After that, they added the “D” for delicious, or perhaps the “D” is after Dana Sinkler, chef and co-founder of Hubee D’s and Terra Chips, and man behind the recipes.
- In addition to the Providence Road location, Nguyen and Lahanas opened a second Hubee D’s in the Rivergate Shopping Center a year ago, in what used to be a Panda Express (sorry, Ted). Nguyen and Lahanas would like to accelerate expansion in the Charlotte area to have 3-5 Hubee D’s locations, but finding the right real estate is proving to be a challenge.
Connect with Hubee D’s Charlotte
815 Providence Rd. | 14126 Rivergate Parkway