The Junction at Gateway Center in Newark is welcoming its newest dining option.
Uncle Willie’s Wings – a popular Newark-born eatery that combines ’90s hip-hop culture with chicken wings – recently opened in the newly redeveloped dining hall, joining a diverse lineup that includes Chip City, Jersey Mike’s, fresh&co, Farinella Artisanal Pizza & Bakery, Dunkin’ and 375° Chicken ‘N Fries.
Founded four years ago in Newark’s South Ward at 1036 Bergen St. by Walter “Uncle Willie” Green, the popular wing spot was able to launch its second brick-and-mortar location after winning a competition announced by Onyx Equities LLC and Mayor Ras Baraka that provided a fully built-out space at The Junction at no up-front cost to a city-based restaurant operator.
During a Nov. 1 event, Green was joined by Baraka, as well as Marcus Randolph and Emily Manz from Invest Newark and Jonathan Schultz, co-founder and managing principal for Onyx Equities, which owns Gateway 1, 2 and 4, in celebrating the grand opening.
“It’s an exciting time for Uncle Willie’s Wings,” said Green. “Opening this second location in the downtown area is an incredible milestone. I am so grateful to Onyx and the City of Newark for helping to make this happen. We look forward to continuing to bring Uncle Willie’s flavor to more people with our takeouts and our full-service restaurant coming in 2024.”
Less than a year after he opened his first location, Green made headlines when he began serving up to 1,000 free meals a week to food insecure residents in the city. An Army veteran and philanthropist, Green is also a 2023 graduate of Invest Newark and Interise’s Small Business Stronger Pilot program that focused on developing the leadership skills of participating business owners in the city.
Baraka congratulated Green, saying, “Uncle Willie’s Wings is Newark’s newest success story because of the same things that make an award-winning dish: ingredients, preparation, and presentation. In this case, the ingredients include Walter Green’s big philanthropic heart, always willing to serve the community with love. His prep included steps for collaboration with Invest Newark and entrepreneurial support programs. And the presentation is garnished with the savory flavor of ’90s hip-hop. It’s a winning combination.”
Randolph added, “We are proud to witness Uncle Willie’s Wings open their second location here in Newark. This expansion to The Junction exemplifies Newark’s entrepreneurial spirit, and we’re eager to see Uncle Willie’s Wings thrive. Newark is definitely open for business.”
Schultz said, “Walter not only has an incredible talent for cooking, but he also has a deep love for Newark and an unwavering dedication to the community. We are thrilled that Walter and his team have joined our restaurant line-up at The Junction at Gateway Center.”’
Uncle Willie’s at Gateway Center is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Future launches slated for the 100,000-square-foot retail and hospitality area include Mökbar and Kamasu by Kissaki.