Editor's Note: Our Sunday restaurant feature "Dining in Douglas" this week spotlights Mr. PJ's Buffalo Wings, which opened in 2008 and is located at 4040 Chapel Hill Road.
From the outside, Mr. PJ’S Buffalo Wings looks like a small sports bar. From the inside, you would be half correct.
A mixture between a sports bar and a self-serve restaurant, the wings joint first welcomes guests to an order station. An assortment of wooden tables and chairs, black booths and two hightop tables offer a variety of seating options that surround the three large TVs, all on different stations. Guests are free to move the tables around to make them more comfortable.
While servers bring out the initial food, it is left to the guests to enjoy their meal alone, making it a self-serve business. A serving station is located on the side, complete with condiments and sauces.
Deep red walls and black curtains complete the look. A couple of arcade games sit in the back corner to add some fun for children.
A family-styled restaurant is exactly what owner Kang Joo Lee was going for. He even named the business after his two sons Paul and James, making it Mr. PJ’s.
“He wanted the identity of a family environment where some people could come in and not feel so intimidated by the noise level or if it gets too crowded,” said James, Lee’s youngest son. “Here, people know about the noise level here and how we like it here. We want to welcome families to bring in their children and they don’t have to worry about drunks."
“We want to keep that noise level down,” continued James. “We don’t want to create that kind of environment.”
This is not Lee’s first round running a business. He owned a gas station in Carrollton for 27 years and a restaurant in Texas, so he has a good idea on how to make a restaurant work.
“I owned a gas station business about 27 years,” said Lee. “My wife and I think there is something in this. I fixed it into a restaurant business.”
“It grew and people became more obsessed with the food,” added James. “After saving up some money, he moved us to Villa Rica where it exploded there. Since we reside in Douglasville, the drive from Douglasville to Villa Rica was inconvenient for my parents so they wanted to move the business from Villa Rica to here. That is essentially what happened.”
Mr. PJ’s is a popular spot for hosting group events for teams and schools, making it ideal due to the flexibility of the seating arrangement and self-serve persona.
“That makes a lot of groups really easy and convenient,” said Lee. “They come in and sit. Then we bring the food.”
The biggest achievement for the owners is that their restaurant is so clean and tidy.
“As far as the kitchen is concerned, the number one priority other than handling a customer properly is trying to maintain a clean environment,” explained James. “That is what [Lee] stresses on everybody, whether you are a cook or not. Everyone has the same responsibility as far as keeping the place clean and the environment clean. We view it as our own home so we are inviting guests over to our own house so we want to have a good impression on people when they walk in here. That is the one thing we are always striving to accomplish.”
While the main center of Mr. PJ’s is their wings, their menu is much more versatile.
The menu consists of buffalo wings, boneless wings, chicken fingers, sandwiches, burgers, salads, combos and sides.
“It’s a really good menu,” said Lee. “It’s like a sports bar with the wings. We got good wings.”
However, two sections stand off on their own: the seafood and international food options.
“We got most American food, but since I am here, people are asking me why I don’t have fried rice,” said Lee, whose ethnicity is Korean. “One day I went and made it. I began to make that for customers. They love it.”
One of the most popular combo meals is wings and fried rice.
“We tried to cater to what people liked and that is the most popular,” said James.
Overall, all the recipes, sauces and flavors are homemade.
“All the recipes we use are my own,” explained Lee. “My wife and I developed it, especially all the sauces. We try to make it our own recipes. Since we started, we always try something new.”
Lee particularly prides himself on making his sauces tasty and hot.
“It has to be tasty,” said Lee. “A lot of hot sauces are only hot. You don’t taste any flavor in it, only hot. I try to get hot and flavor into it so it can be tasty.”
“We want to make it good,” added James. “That is what I love about my dad’s wings is that it is spicy and it has a really good kick but it also has a really good flavor to it. That is what we are trying to accomplish: good flavor but at the same time, it is going to kick your butt.”
Lee also prides himself in consistency within his food.
“From a customer standpoint, you will appreciate what they have to go through because he wants the consistency of the food to be good,” explained James. “That is why he is always making sure everything is good and comes out properly. He always stresses out about that. It has to be perfect every time. We are always looking for ways to improve food quality.”
“It has got to be the same food always,” agreed Lee.
In addition to the menu is the lunch specials. Monday through Thursday from 12 to 3 p.m., customers can choose a wings, fries and drink special. After 3 p.m., their next best option is any of the combos, which run everyday, all day.
To further complete the sports bar identity, the restaurant began serving beer three years ago and continues to this day.
“We have a whole variety in the cooler,” said James. “We have kegs as well.”
Their beer selection features a variety, including Budweiser, Yuengling, Blue Moon, Bud Light and Miller Light.
Mr. PJ's Buffalo Wings
Open Since: January 2008
Owners: Kang Joo Lee and Kum Hyang Lee
Location: 4040 Chapel Hill Rd., Douglasville, GA 30135
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday
Phone Number: 770-942-5757