Nu Wave Fish & Chicken, a new you-buy-we-fry restaurant, will celebrate its grand opening next weekend by giving away 1,000 meals. The Lansing location of the family-owned chain is the first outside the Metro Detroit area. Allan I. Ross/City Pulse
A new dining trend seems to be emerging in the Capital City. Joining the barbecue, craft beer and craft coffee businesses that are humming along quite nicely, several new restaurants dedicated to “you buy, we fry” cuisine have started breaking in Lansing. Opening in the last few years have been Eastside Fish Fry in Lansing’s Eastside Neighborhood, the Fish Market of Grand River in Old Town and two locations for Munchies on the city’s south side. Add to that the rebranding of South Lansing’s Fresh Fish & Fry with its now-famous “Crack Chicken” sign, and you have the makings of a bona fide movement.
And last month, the city’s newest addition, Nu Wave Fish & Chicken, joined the surge just north of downtown. Located at the corner of Oakland Avenue and Cedar Street, Nu Wave is primed to capitalize on a prime position at one of the busiest intersections in town.
“This is a great location, and we’re glad to finally be open,” said Sharif Hamed, co-owner and operator of the eatery. “We secured the location (last year), but we had to work out a few things with the city. But everybody’s loving it, and business is getting better everyday. Lansing people seem very friendly.”
In 2000, Hamed’s uncle opened the first Nu Wave location in the Detroit area, eventually branching out to include eight stores in and around the city. Hamed worked at several of them, learning the business from the ground up. Last year, Hamed’s uncle spotted the Lansing location, a former A&W, when he was on his way back to the Detroit area from the Capital Region International Airport.
“He’s always looking for places for new investments, and he was swinging through Lansing when he saw this place,” Hamed said. “It really attracted his attention, so he started working on it and brought me on as a partner.”
Nearly a year later, the restaurant had its quiet opening three weeks ago — but things are about to get a lot less quiet. On May 20, Hamed and his staff will host a grand opening event featuring a live DJ and free meals for the first 1,000 people to show up.
“We’re not going to sit around and wait for customers to find us,” Hamed said. “This is going to be a big event. The whole city’s invited to come try our food and have a good time. It’s really going to put us on the map.”
Hamed said each meal will consist of two wings, three pieces of shrimp, a piece of fish and a side of fries. He said his family usually offers a similar deal to its Detroit area locations on the day before Thanksgiving as a way to give back to the community.
In addition to the food, Nu Wave also deals in light grocery items, including boxes of its signature seasoning. But no matter how addictive the secret recipe of herbs and spices may be, don’t call it “crack.”
“It’s not professional,” Hamed said.
“Let’s just say it’s very good, and people come back for it. We’ve been around for 17 years now, and we’ve got it perfected.”
Nu Wave Fish & Chicken 427 E. Oakland Ave, Lansing 10 a.m.- midnight, Monday Saturday; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday (517) 803-4727, nuwavefishandchicken.com