September 06, 2010


Ninety "99" Nine
Restaurant & Pub
5 Salem Turnpike
Norwich, CT 06360
Map and Directions

           Last weekend, my wife and I ventured out to meet an old friend and her husband at their new home in Connecticut. Their house was built on her husband’s family land adjacent to the family cow farm just outside the town of Norwich. According to Wikipedia and I, Norwich was founded in 1658 by settlers from Old Saybrook led by Major John “I love wings” Mason and Reverend James “got saucy fingers” Fitch. They purchased the land that would become Norwich from the local Native American Mohegan Tribe in exchange for a satchel of wings and a coupon for all you can eat breakfast at Denny’s. By 1694 the public landing built at the head of the Thames River allowed ships to offload wings at the harbor. The harbor area is known as the Chelsea neighborhood. The distance between the port and Norwichtown was serviced by the East and West Roads which later became Washington Street and Broadway where you can find a variety of places that serve wings with all sorts of flavors (I totally made that up).

Ninety Nine Bar and Grill was founded in 1952 when Charlie Doe opened a pub at 99 State Street in Boston. In 1962, the restaurant left Boston, moving its main location to Woburn, which still stands. Over the next several decades, the chain expanded throughout Massachusetts as well as the New England area. Before my friend’s housewarming, my wife and I were starving and were actually looking for a diner. Sorry Norwich, didn’t see one. Really didn’t see much. The houses were beautiful and the town seemed nice, but there wasn’t much… least by NY standards. After going through a no go zone and almost crossing a bridge somewhat similar to the one from the Beetlejuice movie, we gave up and looked for the next thing we came across. Ninety-Nine Bar and Grill. The parking lot was filled and it was only noon. Figured it couldn’t be all that bad. I gave up on my hopes of eggs and pancakes and figured lets’ wing it up!

The restaurant, itself, was very nice in its décor. It was very western like. For those of you who remember Big Barry’s, it had that kind of atmosphere. The servers were as hospitable as could be and the environment was super friendly. Kind of nice having people smile at you and saying hello. The place seemed as if this is where you go before or after a service of some sort depending on your faith.

The menu was very similar to AppleBee’s or Chili’s. The variety in the wing selection was the same. You had the choice of either hot or mild on bone or boneless wings with an option of an extra-large order rather than the regular. I ordered the extra-large order of the hot wings but the waitress brought me the boneless. I was so hungry that I didn’t care. They were very good but not to the point where I would drive 3 hours to get them. The size of the boneless wings was substantial and the amount they gave you was more than enough for two people to share. The sauce caught up to you after a while and eventually made you sweat. Overall, they met my standards and I was able to walk away satisfied. If you’re ever in Norwich, check it out and tell them The Wingmen sent ya!

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