MEET THE OWNER
After his mother died last fall, Brandon Hale said he realized life was too short for him to not follow his dream of opening a wing restaurant.
“So then we saw this place, drew up a plan and did it,” he said.
Hale, who many know as the lead singer in the local outlaw country band The Dirty Shame, took a year off before his mother’s death to take care of her. She had Alzheimer’s. He was stuck for a little bit after her death, he said, but in February family helped him set his plans to open a restaurant into motion
Called Brando’s Wing Co., Hale said the restaurant is named after what his nieces and nephews call him, short for “Brandon.” Little personal touches can be found throughout the business. There’s a sign from Hale’s grandfather’s bar in the Yaak River Valley, called the Hellroaring Saloon, where Hale said he learned all the old country songs from the jukebox. He even named his LLC, Hellroaring Foods, after it.
Adding to the personal feel are Waylon and Willie posters around the restaurant, which Hale described as outlaw country-themed. It will offer the Yaak Attack challenge, where customers can eat seven super hot wings with no drinks in between for a T-shirt. The challenge is named after an event that used to happen in the Yaak River Valley where people would try to visit all the bars in the area, Hale said.
A fifth-generation restaurant owner, much of his menu is family-inspired, he said. A few recipes come from his father’s fine dining restaurant in Alaska, including a special Caesar salad recipe, some desserts and an eggplant dip.
Brando’s will also serve salads, burgers, beans, rice and baked potatoes, but wings are the main event. Wings will come with 10 to 12 types of sauces, including Brando’s Buffalo Sauce, which he has sold in grocery stores and has been served in restaurants for years.
When Brando’s opens, it will be the only locally owned, wing-focused restaurant in Bozeman. Hale said he feels like many restaurants’ wings are too “vinegar-y” for him and he hopes to offer something unique, describing his wing sauce as “savory, buttery goodness.”
The buffalo sauce will come in four degrees of spiciness — mild, medium, hot and atomic. There will also be a habanero mango, pineapple jalapeño, honey mustard, Asian, barbecue, big cheese, garlic and a weekly special, he said. He’ll sell fresh wing sauce and a whiskey barrel-aged hot sauce for people to take home.
A plate of 10 wings will cost $12, he said, and a meal consisting of wings, a drink and some sides should come out to under $20.
Located near the intersection of West Main and Babcock streets, there will be a pickup window for people who order ahead of time. Hale said the location was appealing to him because it’s easily accessible from both Babcock and Main.
Brando’s will hold a soft opening in about three weeks. Then, there will be a grand opening in mid-June, he said, and he hopes to get Dirty Shame together to play for it.