Closed: Wild Wing takes flight

Chances are you've heard by now. Charlottesville's seemingly popular but troubled West Main Street beer and wingery just went belly up.

Customers who tried to visit Wild Wing Café during the New Year report finding an apologetic sign on the door alluding to "our financial situation."

But the theories as to why they closed so suddenly, allegedly without even notifying the employees, are as plentiful and and slippery as a plateful of jalapeno cheddar chicken wings.

The restaurant was part of a seven-restaurant– er, six-restaurant– franchise group, the local one calling itself Wings Over Charlottesville Inc. Douglas A. Muir of South Pantops Drive was the man whose signature was on some dotted lines. His telephone line, however, has been disconnected.

Opened just two years ago, the restaurant occupied the 1895 Union Station. Long considered a linchpin in the redevelopment of West Main Street, the station is owned by Gabe Silverman.

"They were closed by the State," says Silverman. They weren't paying their taxes."

Transitioning, Silverman adds, "They were making a lot of money."

Silverman notes that Dave Matthews Band manager Coran Capshaw has plans for a 220-apartment and retail complex just footsteps away in Fifeville. Silverman believes that whatever new operation takes over at the station will "stay similar in genre." The co-eds should be glad to hear that.

Commercial broker Charlie Kabbash, a man who's "at the vortex" of this deal, since he represents both the owners of the property and the sellers of the restaurant, confirms Silverman's optimistic words.

"We have three or four active clients," he tells us. "This is such a great location for a restaurant. Do you know that Wild Wing was earning up to $2 million a year?"

We didn't. But we did discover from documents on file in the City Courthouse that the company was hit with a $7,444 lien on December 23 for unpaid taxes.

These financial tidbits, certainly nothing to cluck about, bring us back to the original mystery: Where did all the money go? If we find out, you'll be the first to know.