Text of Ed’s Speech to the Class 2016 at Wine and Cheese

FullSizeRender (5)On Friday September 25, WesWings sponsored a Wine and Cheese party for the class of 2016 at Beckham Hall.  For those who were unable to attend or may have had difficulty hearing due to sound and mic equipment problems, we are posting the details of Ed’s speech here.

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Thank you and welcome.  I am Ed Thorndike and I, along with my business partner, Karen Polascik, own Wes Wings and The Red & Black Café.  As many of you know, Wes Wings will be celebrating its 25th year in business.  We have several events planned to celebrate starting with tonight.  Next week we’re bringing a group of our staff to NYC to see Hamilton.  We are also planning a large celebration next spring and we hope to see all of you then too.

Now in addition to owning WesWings, I am also an alum, class of 1989.   I want to welcome you tonight on behalf of the alumni association as well.  Over the coming days, weeks and months you will hear a lot of good reasons why you should contribute to the senior class gift.  And for those who have or will soon be giving, I thank you for your gift.  I know many of you have reasons why you DON’T want to give.  I’ve heard them.  I’m still paying tuition.  I don’t have a job.  I have tons of loans.  Or maybe you’re just pissed off at one of things the administration has done recently.  But here’s the thing.  For me.  When the smoke clears it comes down to the Wesleyan experience.  The Wesleyan experience is special and is what motivates me.  It’s been passed down to you and you will soon pass it down to classes that come after you.  You’re probably asking yourself, “what is this Wesleyan experience of which you speak so eloquently?”  Well I’ll tell you….

It’s football games and basketball and hockey.  It’s ultimate Frisbee and West African dance concerts outside.  It’s seeing your friends in shows at the ’92 theater.  It’s Ebony Singers in the Chapel, it’s research in Hall Atwater

It’s bands at Art House, Buho and Eclectic.  It’s parties in the backyards of Fountain.  It’s a party ON Fountain.  It’s Pine Palace or the Fishbowl.  It’s getting a grilled cheese at 2 am from Whey and a breakfast pail from WesWings the next day.  It’s O’Rourkes, or Ford News Diner.  It’s Thai Gardens, Typhoon and Neon.

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WTF Happened to My Turkey Panino and other Changes to the RBC Menu

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Relax it’s still here.  We made a lot of changes to the menu but we have only ADDED more items.  Your old favorites are still here and now you can make them better.

First the Turkey Panino.  Now you order it from the BYO Sandwich menu.

Turkey, cheddar and pesto on grilled focaccia bread.  Add some tomatoes it always makes it better.

In addition to the Turkey Panino you can customize lots of Sandwiches.

Under Build Your Own Sandwich you can create just what you want.  We still have our famous Cranberry-Apple Tuna.  We’ve added

  • Home cooked roast beef,
  • Baked ham
  • House made Hummus

Plenty of bread options and new spreads as well.  Any sandwich can be grilled on the panini.

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Red & Black Cafe’s $53,000 Completes a Decade of Giving

RBC LogoTen years ago beginning in 2005, we pledged a decade long campaign to contribute 1% of our gross sales from the Red & Black Cafe to support financial aid.  Our 1% For Aid campaign has been completed with over $53,000 in contributions. These funds had been restricted to financial aid and since 2009 we specifically directed these funds to the Johannah Justin Jinich ’10 scholarship, (a cause dear to our hearts).

As we begin our 13th year in business at the RBC, we appreciate all the support we’ve received from students and the Wesleyan community.  While this particular campaign is now complete, we will continue to support you, our customers, in new ways.

-Karen & Ed

Class of 2019 Guide To ‘Swinging

You’ve heard about it.  They have cookie dough.  Maybe you even ate there during WesFest.  But now you’re here, standing in line, with a crowd around you, and you hear one of the cashiers yell, “Can I help who’s next?”  

WesWings can be a little daunting the first few times.  Some will panic and just order a burger and fries or a chicken sandwich.  Our menu is pretty extensive and the choices are vast.

  • What kind of bread?
  • Regular or spicy fries?
  • What kind of sauce?
  • Here or to go?

To list just a few of the questions you’ll be asked.

So here are a few ideas to help you get the most out of our little dining establishment.

  1. Water is free, cups are not.  We charge 25 cents for a water cup so if you don’t want to buy a drink, bring your own mug.  We do this to reduce waste, not make money.
  2. To Go containers are free.  Our portions are big and delicious so why not bring it home.

What to order?

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Welcome Home Everyone

You’re back.  We’re open.  What could be better?

The Red & Black Cafe is open (and has been all week)  Lot’s of changes at the cafe.  New menu featuring breads from Hartford Baking Co.  You can build your own sandwiches, salads and wait for it… grilled cheese.  Lot’s of toppings, fillings, spreads etc..  Still have some of your favorites including the Thanksgiving sandwich and our apple cranberry tuna. Weekend brunch with all your favorite omelets and a few new specials as well.  Also, the folks at IT have been busy this summer and AIRWES is now flying at the bookstore/cafe.

WesWings re-opens tonight at 5pm.  We’ve been working on new specials for the semester and are almost as excited as you are for the first pails of the year Sunday morning.  We have a lot of exciting news and events we’ll be sharing in the coming days and weeks.  If you haven’t heard Swings is turning 25.  As always, both locations take points.  Be sure to follow/friend us on whatever social media you use.

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It’s going to be a great year.

-Karen & Ed

End of the year Mug Club Special $10

IMG_1886UPDATE:  MUGS are now just $10 points.

Why spend 2 points or more every meal for your beverage?  Our Mug Club is not only good for the environment, it’s good for your points balance.

If you go to either location 3 times a week, you will save over $160 this year.  Go 5 times a week and save close to $300 this year.

Mug Club FAQ

What is it?

Purchase a reusable mug from either WesWings or Red & Black Café for free refills of soda and iced coffee every time you visit.

Can I use it at other campus locations?

Only WesWings and Red & Black Cafe.

How much is it? Continue reading

Welcome Class of 2020

11227924_10153843436476029_1177652049678180620_nYou’re almost here!  We know you have questions. “What’s a pail?  Tell me about cookie dough.” Good news, we have answers.  And we will be providing them over the upcoming weeks.

The most important thing you can do right now is connect with us.

Over the next few weeks we will provide you with answers like

  • “Yes, we do take points.  You can use your meal plan points at both WesWings and the Red & Black Cafe.”
  • “The Red & Black Cafe is located in the back corner of Broad St. Books, the campus bookstore at 45 Broad St.  Yes, you can use your meal plan points at the cafe.”
  • “WesWings is located in the lower rear level at 156 High St.  Yes, you can use your points there too”
  • “Sorry, you can’t use your block meals.  That’s why most students opt for the plan with the most points.”
  • “Yes, it’s raw.  Yes, you can eat it.”
  • “Yes, were are hiring.  Apply on our Website”
  • “We recommend over easy, but a scrambled pail is good too.”

Don’t be shy.  Feel free to contact us through any of our social media accounts.  See you in September.

-Karen & Ed

All Pails, All The Time

pailIf you have ever stopped in for one of our weekend brunches, you’ve probably had a pail.  They’ve become quite popular as a recent snap chat photo clearly shows.  Scrambled, over easy, poached, bacon, avocado, hollandaise the choices are endless.

We have had requests to offer the pail on different days as well as dinner pails like the mashed potato pail or the notorious Pail-A-Palooza.

After careful thought and consideration, we have decided to serve all of our menu items in a pail.  Cheeseburger? In a pail.  Buffalo wings? In a pail. Salads in pails.  Eggplant Parmigiana in pails. Soup in pails.  Chicken Tender Wraps in pails.  You get the idea.

For those of you who either are not fans of the breakfast pail or prefer your Penne Vodka on a plate, you’ll adjust.

While some would rather not have their entire meal in one container the benefits are many.

  • No longer do we have to worry if your meal “was supposed to be to-go”
  • Neatness and presentation? Who cares, it’s in a pail!
  • Finally, to keep every portion consistent in size, we will be serving our cookie dough in the pail as well.  While we don’t recommend eating 26 oz of cookie dough, you’re all big boys and girls and can make that choice if you want.

We look forward to seeing photos of your pail food on Twitter and SnapChat or Facebook if anyone still uses it.

So Tuesday Was Kinda Wild

We’ve gotten pretty good at handling natural disasters over the past few years.  While there is a great deal of planning that goes into such an event, we would never be able to pull it off without our staff.  Both full-timers and students made their way through the storm to keep the lights on and our customers fed.

  • Stephanie Andrasik
  • Nick August
  • Jessica Carlson ’16
  • Dandara Catete  ’15
  • Francine Denny
  • Hannah Fritz ’18
  • Krista Kaffen
  • Rick Kmietek
  • Robert McGiveron
  • Mike Mitchell
  • Callie Monroe ’17
  • Brian Rahrig
  • Hannah Rimm ’15
  • Shourya Sen ’15
  • Emma Singer ’15
  • Job Vasquez

And of course co-owner, fearless leader Karen Kaffen-Polascik (Ed was in an undisclosed bunker for security reasons)

These were the people who fed hundreds of you including over 700 just at dinner alone.  That’s 700 meals MADE TO ORDER.  We broke our record set during the dinner after Blizzard Nemo in 2013.

We are very thankful to them and to our customers for their patience and understanding during a very busy day and stressful couple of days.

-Karen & Ed