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Chicken Wings On Demand? West Loop Entrepreneurs Say 'Why Not?'

By Stephanie Lulay | June 10, 2015 6:22am
 Two West Loop entrepreneurs are launching Wang Thang, an on-demand chicken wing service in the West Loop.
Two West Loop entrepreneurs are launching Wang Thang, an on-demand chicken wing service in the West Loop.
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DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay

WEST LOOP — Two West Loop entrepreneurs who plan to launch a chicken wing delivery service later this month are challenging restaurant norms in the process. 

Partners Jason Dunlap and Alex Campillo will launch Wang Thang, an on-demand service that delivers signature chicken wings and fried chicken anywhere in the West Loop. 

Campillo and Dunlap, who work as web developers, said Tuesday that they didn't need a permanent kitchen or loads of money to get their underground food delivery business off the ground. In total, they spent a week conceptualizing their latest project.

"We're doing this completely different," said Dunlap, 35. "You don't have to start with hundreds of thousands of dollars to create a business."

The West Loop web developers met when Campillo, 23, began working as an intern for a web development company Dunlap owned. Campillo eventually became a partner in the company.

After selling that business, the pair recently launched a new business aimed at helping retail and restaurants develop point-of-sale systems. Earlier this month, they began hatching a plan to open a second start-up business, too.

They figured it might as well be chicken.

"We both have food that our friends love and we just want to put it out there," Dunlap said.

Alex Campillo (left) and Jason Dunlap (right) are launching Wang Thang, an "underground, on-demand pop-up" delivering chicken wings in the West Loop. [DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay]

Wang Thang's menu will feature recipes chosen by both Dunlap and Campillo. Dunlap, a chicken wing connoisseur, mastered his recipe while living in Nashville in 2010; Campillo, who grew up in Little Village, has "tweaked" his fried chicken recipe over years.

Inspired by the city's food trucks, Ubereats and author Eric Reiss' book "The Lean Startup," the pair are relying on a "dead simple" model to launch their start up chicken business.

"The Tamale Guy was also a big inspiration," Campillo said of Claudio Velez, Chicago's own tamale-selling celebrity.

During the launch, Wang Thang will offer a streamlined menu and deliver during limited lunchtime hours. Campillo and Dunlap declined to say exactly where they are cooking their chicken.

Wang Thang's chicken offerings will include six wings for $8, 12 wings for $13, 24 wings for $18, two pieces of fried chicken for $6 and 12 pieces of fried chicken for $19.

The pop-up's menu will also feature fried mushrooms, homemade California coleslaw and a cold-brew orange mocha frappuccino.

Wang Thang will deliver orders for free anywhere in the West Loop.

Ahead of launching the chicken delivery service later this month, Wang Thang will be giving away chicken wings for free this week at yet-to-be disclosed locations. The pair will leak their location each day on Wang Thang's Twitter account.

If their pop-up plan works out, the partners will open a stand-alone restaurant in the West Loop. If that happens, Dunlap said he would like to work with shelters to help create jobs for the homeless at the restaurant. 

"My grandma told me last night, 'People want fried chicken all the time. I think you've got something here,'' Dunlap said Tuesday. "We just want to make people happy and build a community around great chicken."

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