Two new restaurants are headed to the historic core of Lake Wales. “Smokin’ DJ’s” is set to open on First Street this winter. “Whadda-Wings” is scheduled to begin construction on Lincoln Avenue this fall.
Both restaurants were awarded grant money by the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) through the restaurant incentive program. Main Street Executive Director Karen Thompson said, “The program was a success and is now completed. The incentives were created to stimulate private investment and reward risk takers.”
The incentive program offered dollar-for-dollar matching funds to assist qualified applicants in establishing a food-related business in the northwest redevelopment area and downtown Main Street District. Matching funds were grants that could be used to offset the cost of eligible lease-hold improvements necessary to establish and operate a food-related business.
“Smokin’ DJ’s” was awarded $50,000 by the CRA. Owners Demetrius and Jennifer Leeks plan to feature a variety of menu items, such as signature-backyard burgers, barbecued meats, tasty side dishes and homemade desserts. One specialty dish sure to be a fan favorite is the chicken and waffles. “We’re excited to start hosting ‘Soul Food Sundays' in our new restaurant,” Jennifer said. The Leeks currently operate “D on Wheelz” food truck, a favorite of many residents in Lake Wales.
“Whadda-Wings” was awarded $100,000 by the CRA. The menu will include many types of flavored wings, buffalo shrimp, quesadillas, side dishes and much more. Owners Stephanie and David Mosley are excited to see their six-year food truck business expand to an 1,800-square-foot restaurant in a newly-built building. It will be located on Lincoln Avenue in the northwest neighborhood. The Mosleys purchased the future site of the restaurant prior to applying for the restaurant incentive program.