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Hoagies & Wings Opening a Power Lunch

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Monday, April 07, 2008, at 08:44PM
Ribbon Ed Fuentes

14th District Council member Jose Huizar holds the Grand Opening ribbon for Akida Mashaka.

Soon your State and Federal administrative paperwork may now come with a scent of Mild, Seasoned, Hot, BBQ, Lemon Pepper, or Garlic Parmesan.

The Grand Opening of Hoagies & Wings on Monday was a power lunch with grilled onions, and after the ribbon cutting and speeches, a line went out the door as lunch goers ordered steak hoagies, chicken wings and sides. Located at the edge of Biddy Mason Park in the Broadway Spring Center -- a spot that has been a challenge for food retail -- the success of Hoagies & Wings will hinge on a Civic Center lunchtime crowd looking to wet their fingers in Chicken Wing sauces.

For Harvard Law School grad and Hoagie entrepreneur Akida Mashaka, the mix of affordable eatin’s with recipes from two Le Cordon Bleu culinary graduates has been popular at his other stores. The new Downtown location joins ones on La Cienega on the western side of L.A., Washington Blvd in Culver City, and Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks. Mashaka is optimistic about his fourth location. “I followed the loft crowd into Downtown,” Mashaka said, adding that he will look toward the Civic Center for his customer base. "If we get the loft crowd, it's a bonus for us."

Hoagies & Wings has a lot of support from VEDC and Councilman Jose Huizar, who rallied to open an alternative lunch spot for locals. Even Councilmember Bernard Parks dropped in to congratulate the CitySearch Winner for Number One wings, suggesting Mashaka look below the 10 (and toward Parks' 8th District) for his next store site.

Mashaka's plan to gauge the market is an interesting one. The Downtown Hoagies & Wings will be open until 7pm, but delivery will be offered late into the night from the La Cienega location. The combination offers an in-house test market survey to see whether demand can keep the spot open nights and weekends. "That way we can grow our market here, and open late if it works," Mashaka explains.

The eatery's location is certainly geared for lunch. The massive parking structure complex isn't the friendliest for an after-hour resident hang-out spot, but its location near the Reagan Office Building and other state facilities gives a large built-in lunch crowd.

Given some good food, somehow you get the feeling this place can wing it.

Hoagies & Wings / 332 S Broadway / Weekdays: 10:30am - 7pm / Delivery available (including late).


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