Monday kicks off Restaurant Week across West Virginia and the ‘101 Unique Places to Dine’ will also be unveiled. Wheeling was represented well with five eateries on the list.
One of the restaurants featured is Generations Restaurant and Pub on National Road. Owner Mike Duplaga said he thinks his restaurant offers many unique things to patrons. “People must come here whether it’s eating outside on two large decks, we have a large following that comes here for pierogies which we kind of fell into that, we have a lot of unique sandwiches, unique wraps. I think people just getting away from that constant chain thing, something a little different, a little unique, a little different feel,” he said.
Ye Olde Alpha in Woodsdale also made the list. Co-owner Charlie Schlegel said he knows how his restaurant was able to receive the honor. “I think the uniqueness is in the community of the patrons of the Alpha. The Alpha is bigger than me, it’s bigger than the employees, it’s bigger than all of us frankly. It’s a landmark restaurant, it’s been around since 1932,” Schlegel said. “But if you’re coming to eat, wings are our absolute number one seller, the Greek wings, we created them, they’re awesome.”
While both Schlegel and Duplaga love their local customers, they know their spots on the list will now make their restaurants more attractive to travelers looking for a bite to eat, too.
“We do have a large influx of out-of-towners that do come to Wheeling, whether they’re traveling through 70 or staying at Oglebay Park, we see them. I see them here all the time. I don’t know how the voting process came about but they must remember the Wheeling area and the eateries,” Duplaga said.
“I think it’s more for the people that are traveling in this area then people who live around here. They already know what a unique and crazy place the Alpha is,” Schlegel added.
They both agree that having five local restaurants on the list solidifies the fact the culinary scene is thriving again in Wheeling. “Very, very exciting, the food vibe in Wheeling. Wheeling is far different than it was 15 years ago when I moved here,” Schlegel said.
“I think it’s a compliment to the entire Wheeling area, Wheeling’s not the biggest place on earth as we all know,” Duplaga said. “But you get five restaurants in Wheeling that are all doing a good job keeping their customers happy, that’s a plus for the whole area.”
Avenue Eats, The Ihlenfeld Dining Room at Oglebay Park and Later Alligator also made the list.