By Kristin Schultz
NISKAYUNA — If chicken wings, waffles and milkshakes sound like your idea of a good time, keep an eye on 3610 State St. Schenectady native, first-time business owner and engineer Jahveed Shirzad went before the town Planning Board on March 27 seeking site-plan approval for his restaurant in the space formerly occupied by Dealz.
“There’s really no place to get chicken and waffles here,” he said.
While Shirzad is finalizing the name of the restaurant — either Wings Central or Wings and Waffles — he is certain about the concept and plans to offer both bone-in and boneless chicken wings with a choice of between 10 and 15 sauces.
Also on the menu will be between five and seven waffle sandwiches. Each selection will swap the traditional sandwich bun for a toasty waffle and feature crispy-fried chicken as the protein. From there, a variety of toppings — like a maple mayo — will distinguish one sandwich from another.
To wash it all down, the restaurant will offer traditional milkshakes and “freak shakes,” which will see regular milkshakes adorned with candy and goodies, served up in a frosting-rimmed glass.
The floor plan has not been finalized, but Shirzad hopes to seat between seven and nine diners and have a robust takeout following.
He proposes currently to switch on the fryers and open the doors in late spring or early summer and plans to be open from lunchtime to 11 p.m.
Shirzad may be an engineering major, but he’s no stranger to restaurant leadership. His father owned and ran a fried chicken shop in Schenectady when Shirzad was growing up. Throughout the years, Shirzad spent time in a management role.
His family still lives here and are happy for their son and brother’s new venture.
“They’re excited,” Shirzad said. “They think it’s a great idea and they’re very supportive.”
The Planning Board requested that Shirzad gather one or two additional pieces of information to add to the submitted proposal. In general, though, the board seemed inclined to want the project to go forward. The Planning Board previously rejected another applicant who proposed a pedicure salon in the space.
Shirzad aims to be back before the Planning Board at its next meeting on April 24.