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Kali B’s serving up wings in Turners Falls

Tammy Avery holds a Cheese Quesadilla While Sonja Sutton holds Clucks and Pucks (chicken and waffles) at Kali B's Wings & Things on Ave A in Turners Falls.  Recorder/Paul Franz

Tammy Avery holds a Cheese Quesadilla While Sonja Sutton holds Clucks and Pucks (chicken and waffles) at Kali B's Wings & Things on Ave A in Turners Falls. Recorder/Paul Franz

TURNERS FALLS — Turners Falls is fast becoming the destination place for good food with bustling restaurants boasting a steady stream of customers.

Kali B’s Wings and Things, the new all American wings and pub joint at 166 Avenue A, is a good example.

“Everyone has been having the best months they’ve had. We’re the everyman town for good food,” boasts co-owner Jim Ellis. With ’80s music jamming in the background, Kali B’s serves up fresh tender and juicy chicken wings with a variety of sauces alongside its full offering of beer, liquor and wine.

As the first wings joint in Franklin County for some time, Kali B’s is satisfying the hunger of many for wings and burgers — and the owners say beer lovers are flocking to the small restaurant.

Since it opened in February in the former Ristorante Dipaolo, Ellis said, Kali B’s has been packed every night ... with people lined out the door.

On its first night, in fact, the restaurant wasn’t prepared for the amount of customers it would receive. There were 50 people waiting at the door and its kitchen was too small to handle the demand.

“We didn’t expect the response we got,” Ellis said. “The response from the community has been amazing.”

The restaurant has since hired more waitstaff.

In its first five days, he said, Kali B’s went through 1,500 pounds of boneless chicken. It was selling out so fast, its national food supplier, Sysco, visited the restaurant.

“He couldn’t believe how much we were going through. He thought we were throwing things out. We’re selling more food than restaurants twice our size!”

The restaurant continues to stretch the limits of the facility, Ellis said.

The wings joint started off last June in a food trailer across from Stop & Shop in Greenfield. It was the brainchild of Kali Ellis, daughter of Jim and Laurie Ellis. Kali has worked in the food industry for much of her life and she partnered with her parents to open the food truck.

The new place is the Gill residents’ first foray in the full-blown restaurant business.

The food truck and its wings, they say, quickly became the talk of the town with many Franklin County residents, who showed up in droves to the side of French King Highway.

“It was such a great hit, we needed a permanent location,” said Laurie Ellis.

Last October, the family bid on the Ristorante Dipaolo space and transformed the former fine Italian restaurant into the casual, upbeat Kali B’s.

The restaurant’s speciality is chicken wings — with or without the bone.

The Ellis’ wouldn’t reveal their secret recipe. Everything is fresh — that’s the key, Jim Ellis said.

Kali B’s has the classic menu for wings lovers — sauces include garlic Parmesan, barbecue, honey mustard, General Tso’s and hot garlic — plus everything from a hefty plate of nachos to bacon cheeseburger “chowda” to pulled pork.

Hot dog styles come from around the country. A Chicago dog, for instance, is made up of dill pickle, tomato wedges, sweet pickle relish and sport peppers from the Windy City.

Burgers range from mushroom Swiss to Creole blue cheese and a “Bourbon Street Double” made up of two patties smothered in chipotle bourbon glaze and caramelized onions.

The restaurant is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at:

kmckiernan@recorder.com

or 413-772-0261 ext. 268.

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