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Wing business flies the coop to new home

Almost 18 years ago, Scott Brennan opened his chicken wing business, Coop Deville, at 1415 W. Jackson Ave., in a building next to the BP station.Last week, and after five moves, Brennan and Coop Deville are back where they started — almost. The business’ new address is 1417 W. Jackson Ave.

“It’s like coming home,” Brennan said.

The doors to the new location for Coop opened Wednesday. After two years in the corner storefront of the Kroger shopping center, Brennan felt being closer to the university and the traffic on West Jackson Avenue would be a better place to sell his popular chicken wings.

“We’re gotten a bunch of compliments for moving back over here,” he said. “It’s a bigger spot with dine-in capabilities. We’re definitely looking to expand.”

The building that originally housed Coop was torn down several years ago. Coop Deville is now in the building most recently occupied by Bad Boys Pizza. Several businesses have come and gone from that location, but Brennan said he believes Coop is the right fit since a large part of his business is pick-up and delivery orders.

Brennan and his wife, Susan, maintain two businesses — the Coop Deville here in Oxford and one in Hattiesburg. Their home address is Hattiesburg, but they maintain an Oxford residence as well.

Brennan got the idea of a take-out and delivery chicken wing place during his years at the University of Mississippi when he was a student.

“When I was going to school, we only had Domino’s that delivered,” he said. ‘We wanted to get something else delivered that wasn’t pizza.”

Growing business

The business started out small, offering a handful of wing flavors. Eventually, the menu grew to offering more than 25 flavors and added chicken sandwiches to its selection. You’ll find no beef on Coop’s menu.

“It’s a little niche food that no one ever thought about delivering before in Oxford,” he said. “Once we got the initial reaction in Oxford, we knew we had something special. And since, it’s launched into something we never expected.”

While most of the business is take-out and delivery, Brennan hopes the new, larger location will allow him to offer more dine-in for his customers. The new building is equipped with a bar; however, Brennan said he doesn’t know if he will add alcoholic beverages to his menu anytime soon.

“Right now, I want to offer a family-sports bar atmosphere, but without the bar,” he said. “We want to offer a place for people to come and sit and eat, and not have to eat in their car.”

Coop is known to be a no-frills place to grab some good food and Brennan said that won’t change.

“Instead of spending money on neon, we just kinda want to make sure we have good food,” he said.

Business options

Some of Brennan’s future plans include opening for lunch and maybe hosting fun events, like wing-eating contests.

“Now that we have the room, we can do more things like that,” he said.

A few years after opening Coop in Oxford, the Brennans franchised the business out. For six years, they had little control over the business in Oxford.

“We took it back about seven years ago,” he said. “The person who had it started changing the flavors and the menu and it wasn’t doing well. It was our first love and we couldn’t let it fail like that.”

—alyssa@oxfordeagle.com

 (January 10, 2011, Page 5)

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