In September of 2003, Floyd and Jacqueline opened the doors to their restaurant, Hackett Hot Wings, at 1301 E. Langston Hughes-Broadway, and with that, Joplin-area folks and visitors were introduced to authentic Memphis-style hot wings. However, it’s not quite accurate to call Floyd and Jacqueline’s wings “authentic Memphis-style” now. They have earned the title of “authentic Joplin-style” wings.
The Hacketts based their amazing wing recipes on those of the small, family wing joints in their hometown of Memphis, Tenn., but they’ve pretty much put their own stamp on their wings.
Floyd really had no restaurant experience to speak of. After spending 11 years in the Army, he moved to Memphis, went to work for the Pfizer pharmaceutical company and met a lovely young woman by the name of Jacqueline. When he wasn’t working, Floyd liked to try out the hundreds of hot-wing restaurants in Memphis. Soon, he was making his own wings for family and friends. After a while, he was trying out his wings on unsuspecting co-workers. The rave reviews convinced Floyd that he was on to something good.
In 2002, Floyd — who lived in Joplin from the age of 5 to 11 — heard that his uncle Prentise Hackett had a vacant building on Langston Hughes-Broadway. Floyd also discovered that Joplin, at the time, didn’t have a hot-wing restaurant. On June 28, 2003, Floyd and Jacqueline were married. On July 1, they moved to Joplin, and on Sept. 16, they opened the doors to their restaurant. Their customers became very loyal and the word spread of their signature taste. They grew rapidly and soon found that their current location was just too small to accommodate the growing business
In October 2008, they opened the doors at their new location at 520 S. Main Street located in the historic district of Downtown Joplin. The new location has a “more Beale Street feel,” referring to the legendary Memphis street. The new location offers more traffic and more room for that traffic. While the Langston Hughes-Broadway location would struggle to hold 20 or 30 customers, the new location comfortably seats 80 or 90 folks on the lower level and 50 or so on the upper level.
The decor on the lower level is strictly Memphis, and the piped-in Memphis blues only adds to the atmosphere. The food hasn’t changed and besides the Wings, Hackett’s offers catfish, pork-chop sandwiches, hushpuppies, fried okra, corn nuggets and homemade desserts.
The Hacketts have developed their 13 unique flavors over the years and are truly signature recipes to their restaurant. To learn about all the flavors and levels of “Hottness”, click here.