When beloved wing spot Clay’s Sports Cafe announced it was temporarily closing in July 2016 after more than 20 years of service, its die-hard fan base reacted accordingly on its Facebook page. There was a silver lining for those in the know—Chase D’Anella, who formerly worked at Clay’s, had opened Chase’s Grille and Wingery in historic downtown Norcross, and his wings are so good we decreed them best in the metro area back in June.
But to fans’ delight, Clay’s finally reopened last month in the Hammond Springs shopping center in Sandy Springs, which is also home to vegan restaurant Cafe Sunflower and popular L.A. import Jinya Ramen Bar. The space itself is pretty nondescript—a basic rectangle with booths and a bar on the left wall and tables throughout. But with their favorite wings back, diners couldn’t care less. When I visited at lunch recently, nearly every table had a platter of wings on it. (Those wings only make up a small portion of Clay’s menu, which features other sports bar fare such as burgers, pizza, salad, and fried appetizers.)
Buffalo and lemon pepper are always a good litmus test for any wing establishment. And at Clay’s, spicy, salty lemon pepper seasoning clings to nicely crisped wings that are a little larger than what you’ll find at your average sports bar. The Buffalo sauce was quintessentially tangy, grounded by an earthy spice. The chicken meat itself is a little flavorless, but these are still perfectly good wings. And the accompanying potato chips are a nice switch from fries.
This incarnation of Clay’s is still too new to have that homey, lived-in ambiance that its previous location provided. But it’s still is a reliable spot for north metro Atlantans seeking a wing platter for the Falcons game. 5975 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, 404-843-1233