34 places to get tasty chicken wings despite national shortage

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July 29 is National Chicken Wing Day, but some Treasure Coast restaurants have been affected by a national decreased supply and increased demand for them.

The chicken wing shortage hit the St. Lucie Draft House in Port St. Lucie, which increased prices because of “skyrocketing” costs, according to its website. Ten wings flew from $11.95 to $14.95 and 50 wings soared from $56.95 to $71.95.

The price change started a few months ago, when various food items from its supplier suddenly became expensive or scarce, especially chicken wings, said general manager Kathleen Sparkman.

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The Florida Craft Brew & Wingfest was held on Saturday, February 15, 2020, at Royal Palm Pointe in Vero Beach. The family-friendly event featured craft beer tasting, a best wings contest, a kids root beer contest and four bands playing on two stages.

“They started to become hard to get a hold of because they weren’t always available with our purveyor,” she said. “The price of the wings had gone up so much, so we had to unfortunately turn around and raise our pricing.”

Since it opened in 1994, the sports bar and restaurant has experienced shortages and price increases for different food items, including chicken wings, said Sparkman, who has worked there for 25 years. The restaurant even allots for annual increases if needed.

But this year is different because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t ever remember it being this bad,” Sparkman said.

Archie’s Seabreeze in Fort Pierce, famous for its wing sauce, had to remove chicken wings, as well as crab legs, from its happy hour menu, according to its website, also citing “unpredictable and rapidly rising costs.”

Southern Pig & Cattle Co. Smokehouse & Grill in Stuart removed its chicken wings tossed in a signature barbecue sauce from the menu because prices got too high.

The 7th annual Florida Craft Brew and Wingfest was held on Saturday, February 17, 2018, at Royal Palm Pointe Park in Vero Beach. The free, family-friendly community festival included a variety of live music, breweries and food vendors.

Is there really a national chicken wing shortage?

There was a “very tight supply, but short of a shortage,” according to National Chicken Council spokesperson Tom Super.

“Chicken producers are doing everything they can to overcome the devastating impact of Mother Nature when she inflicted the once-in-a-lifetime winter storm on Texas and nearby states — major chicken producing regions,” Super told USA TODAY in May.