The city centre institution is ready to welcome back beloved regulars

Over the last twenty years, if you were going out for a meal in the centre of Manchester, there was a very strong chance you'd be going to Wing's.

The Lincoln Square traditional Cantonese restaurant has been an institution in the city centre since opening in 2004, and while it was certainly known for its popularity among Premier League footballers, it was so much more to so many people.

Following a refurbishment of its restaurant, in the now much-improved Lincoln Square, David Adamson spoke with Wing's about the refurb, their plans for the future and the food scene blossoming around the city. 

2024 03 12 Wings Table
Neatly arranged tables at Wing's Image: Confidentials

D: Wing's is an institution in Manchester and has been for a long time. We're at a point in the city where competition has never been bigger and so I'm interested why have you decided to do the refurb now?

W: When we've talked about doing the refurbishment we had a lot of personal input into it; when you look at something for 20 years it's so difficult to pull away from it. But this is something that we wanted to do a long, long time ago, before 2020. It was all still original decor from 20 years ago. So it's not really about why we chose now, this is just the first opportunity.

I think you nailed it; we're in a time in Manchester where the food scene is evolving like it's never done before. We love being in our little niche and I think a lot of people don't understand that we are a very intimate venue. We have 15 tables; we're not a big restaurant. Our tables are very far apart, it's not like we have a lot of small tables to get as many customers in as possible. So we wanted to find a happy middle path.

2024 03 12 Wings Dishes
An array of delightful dishes Image: Confidentials

D: How many covers would you say you have then?

W: Our seating plan is very flexible, and we have some tables that can seat 15 people, so I'd say we can comfortably seat 90 people. 

D: And what about outside seating? Are you able to have tables out on Lincoln Square?

W: Yes we are, underneath the canopy. This would be our next step, and ideally we'd like to have it for the summer. We want to let the refurbishment breathe a bit then one thing we want to push later on would be lunch. We stopped doing lunch because Lincoln Square was a building site for seven years.

2024 03 12 Wings Brand Logos
A cityscape mural with logos of brands that have supported the business with their custom Image: Confidentials

D: That does tend to put people off. So the opening is tonight (Monday 11 March), have you changed much of the aesthetic in the restaurant? 

W: The aesthetic has completely changed other than where the dining area is. Our strong point is the dining experience, and for the customers to come in and have that we don't want anything unnecessary in the dining area. There's no distractions. A little bit like how Co-op Live is built for performance; it's just a stage and crowd. We want to minimise what's in the dining area because you're there to eat. White tablecloth service and nothing else to distract you. However the front of house, especially the bar, is going to be quite extravagant. 

2024 03 12 Wings Panda Murals
The beloved panda murals have stayed, too Image: Confidentials

D: So that's the decor, what about the menu? How much of that are you keeping?

W: The menu will be evolving over time. So we've made small changes but the majority of it is still there. Think then the next big thing that will change is we will introduce a lunch menu. That's been in the works for quite some time now, but we just don't think it's the right time to push it at the same time as the refurb. And obviously we're quite adaptive to how our customers respond to things. For example, our wine list, the wine awareness is a very personal touch. It's something that we've picked out ourselves. So there's just small things that will change over time and I feel that by perhaps Christmas time we will be settled into our niche once again. 

2024 03 12 Wings Bar
The well-stocked bar area Image: Confidentials

D: As you mentioned, your customers are so much an intrinsic part of your character as a  restaurant. Have they been wondering where you are? 

W: Absolutely. I genuinely feel that we're really lucky to have such a solid following, and  they're not even just customers, because we get to know them and see them so regularly, so when they come in it's more like seeing friends. So we're really looking forward to seeing them all again. Obviously some of them come in every week, so it feels like an eternity since we've seen them.

Watch the video from our first look below.

Wing's, Heron House, 1 Lincoln Square, Manchester M2 5LN

2024 03 12 Wings Entrance
Wing's entrance Image: Confidentials

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