SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Most Spartanburg residents are familiar with the Wild Wing Cafe, sitting on the corner of Main Street and Church Street downtown.

But it’s the longtime Spartanburg residents, those who have been rooted in the city for decades, that remember when this restaurant sparked the beginning of downtown’s revitalization. 

“I think there’s like 25 restaurants within the Morgan Square area and Wild Wings was the first one and I’m sad to see it go, but I think the area could use an upscale, maybe Italian restaurant or maybe another bistro or steakhouse,” said Spartanburg native Jim Key.

While it was once known for being the go-to gathering spot for wings and sports, in recent years the restaurant’s regulars began to dwindle as the rest of downtown grew.

“I did eat there in my high school years but in the last few years I haven’t eaten there as much because I’ve tried out other restaurants in the area,” said Spartanburg resident Eliza Bertling.

The fast-paced expansion of downtown in the last five years has brought promising businesses and exciting events.

So while the closing of this staple leaves some residents nostalgic, they can’t help but get their hopes up for what will take its place.

“I’m a native of Spartanburg, I have loved the development of downtown Spartanburg within the last few years and feel like that would be a great building for a music venue,” said Bertling. “I am a music lover and singer so I would enjoy to see something like that.”

Other musicians agree, saying a music venue is something they’re rooting for.

“There seems to be a lack of venues so yeah it would be great to have another spot to play here in Spartanburg,” said Justin Garber, Spartanburg County resident.

Regular Wild Wing Cafe customers can still visit the franchise’s other Upstate locations in Greenville and Anderson.