As it stands now, however, Wiinky’s is a homegrown restaurant concept operating within a very crowded market space — subs, salads and burgers — in a building that has seen a succession of failed restaurants. And they don’t even have a sign yet.
The restaurant is the brainchild of a young George Mason University grad and Arlington native named Ryan, who didn’t want us to use his last name. Ryan — nicknamed “winky” in high school — recently left his job as a manager of a local pizza restaurant to open his own business. He said he wanted to create a “cool spot” that would remind him of the backyard barbecues he used to love as a kid.
With an undergraduate degree in business, a passion for food and some seed money (source undisclosed), Ryan set out to find a well-trafficked but affordable location. He settled on 3902 Wilson Boulevard in Ballston, formerly home to Papi Pollo and Pike Grill. Although not very inviting from the street, the building does offer off-street parking and features a large, clean kitchen where customers can see their burgers being cooked.
“It’s not like I wanted to have a big casual dining place, I kind of wanted just a cool place that people could stop by and grab a bite to eat for lunch,” Ryan said. He added that he hopes the restaurant could also be a spot for first dates and quick meals with the kids.
Wiinky’s main selling point is the quality of the ingredients. Ryan says he uses only certified Black Angus beef for the burgers and hot dogs, hormone-free chicken for the sandwiches and locally-grown produce for the salads. The menu also includes a few unique items like an avocado-and-tomato hot dog and a signature peanut butter-slathered bacon cheeseburger called the Wiink.
(Ryan says he created the Wiink because he loves peanut butter; he was unaware of last year’s peanut butter burger craze in New York City.)
Unlike some of the new gourmet burger joints that keep popping up around Arlington, Ryan says he wanted to create a family-friendly vibe. For that reason, he is planning on rolling out a kid’s menu and has decided not to apply for a license to serve beer or wine. Booze would hurt the image he’s going for, Ryan said.
Sure, there are plenty of kinks for Ryan to work out: The lack of a sign (hopefully arriving next week), the lack of a working web site or Facebook presence (“coming soon”), the lack of drink options (a soda dispenser is on the way), and relatively slow service (although that’s not uncommon for made-to-order burger restaurants and should be getting faster once Ryan hires a few more staff members). There’s also the issue of marketing — or the lack thereof. But Ryan says he’s planning a grand opening next month and notes that he has been sending an employee out around Ballston to hand out buy-one-get-one-free cards.
At the same time, there are things that Wiinky’s is doing well in its first days in business. The curly fries are crisp and tasty, the chili is pleasantly spicy, and the Wiink burger is tasty, unique and incredibly filling. The burger patties themselves are thick and, if you really think about the flavor, seem to contain a bit of backyard barbecue nostalgia. I didn’t try the Angus chili dog, but Ryan insists that it’s as delicious as it sounds. And he says the cheesesteak sub is the best around.
It’s also clear that Ryan has plenty of support from family and friends, several of whom stopped by yesterday evening to drop off flowers, offer encouragement and grab an early dinner.
Wiinky’s is open from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 11:00 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published 6 articles that were read a total of 14680 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today…
Police issued a traffic ticket every six minutes, on average, during an enforcement effort in front of Nottingham Elementary on Thursday afternoon.
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It’s holiday time and the lights are coming on in Arlington. Over the next several weeks, a slew of tree lightings, Santa visits, markets, and holiday celebrations are happening around…
Hello Everyone -You are invited to the final meeting of NAACP Arlington Branch NAACP for 2022When: Dec 12, 2022, 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) Topic: 2022 General Membership Meeting – NAACP Arlington BranchRegister in advance for this webinar:https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_xGl7wD59R8Cu94elw4bAqQAfter registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.7:00 pm Meeting Opens7:30 pm Installation 8:00 pm Presentation/Q&A; by Dave Schutz on Ranked Choice Voting 8:30 pm Final Remarks and Comments by Newly Elected Members9:00 pm Meeting Adjourns Installation Official Robert N. Barnette, Jr. President, Virginia State Conference NAACP The President of the Virginia State Conference NAACP will serve as the Installation Official and provide remarks for our newly elected officers at the general membership. NAACP Arlington Branch Election Results President- Elect: Michael Hemminger 1st Vice President-Elect: James Younger 2nd Vice President-Elect: Bryan Coleman 3rd Vice President-Elect: Lorelle Langhorne Secretary-Elect: Wanda Younger Assistant Secretary-Elect: Kathleen McSweeney Treasurer-Elect: Adriana Spain Assistant Treasurer-Elect: Kenya Pennington Executive Committee-Elect: Nadia Conyers, Kellen MacBeth, Karen Nightengale Their terms officially begin January 1, 2023. 3rd Monday of the month meeting date changed due to the festival observance of Hanukkah
Join us December 10 & 11 for our Annual Handmade Holiday Workshop Series. We have a myriad of fun and festive programs from linoleum block wrapping paper printing and buttonhole book making workshops led by Eliza Clifford to a meditative grid workshop and Calligraphy Card Making with Anjelika Deogirikar. Join these wonderful artists and get creative this holiday season!
Join us as we celebrate the holiday of Chanukah! Enjoy delicious Latkes, hot cocoa, donuts and more!
Clarendon Menorah Lighting and Community Celebration
Experience the festival of lights!!
*Lighting of a giant 9 foot Menorah