At D’bo’s Daiquiris, Wings & Seafood in Southfield, the food is hot and the drinks are very, very cold.
The small bar and restaurant has a row of colorful, frozen cocktail machines behind the bar that are sweet and fun. Like the name implies, the menu is stacked with hot wings, tenders and boneless wings with a variety of sauces and seasonings, plus seafood, burgers and homestyle sides like creamy, crunchy coleslaw, corn on the cob and fried okra.
D’bo’s was founded in Memphis in 1990 by David and Leticia Boyd, and over the decades have put their stamp on the hot wing category in the South, winning local and national honors, including being named one of the country’s best wing spots by Men’s Journal in 2016, and winning a first-place prize at the National Buffalo Wing Festival in Buffalo, New York, in 2011.
“We started out of a food truck in August of 1990 and are now growing and franchising in many markets. We’re one of the oldest Black-owned businesses in Memphis,” said second-generation owner Julian Boyd.
The first Michigan D’bo’s (which is the only one outside of Memphis) opened in March. It’s owned by seven local businessmen under their brand Eagle Alliance Wings hospitality group. Boyd said they were looking for a unique concept to bring to the Detroit and Southfield area.
Boyd says as many as five more D’bo’s are planned for Metro Detroit. Next year they’ll open one in central Florida, and there are also plans to expand to Chicago, Atlanta and Houston.
“We’re actively looking for high-quality franchise partners with restaurant and hospitality experience, strong capital, and a dedication to high-quality customer service and high-quality food,” said Boyd, adding that they’ve always gotten a lot of interest in the Detroit and Chicago areas during the past few decades because a lot of people in those areas often visit or have family in Memphis.
D’bo’s specializes in “daiquiris,” but really there’s more than that. To me, a daiquiri is a rum and citrus cocktail with sugar. Most of the frozen drinks in the slush machines here are rum-based frozen drinks, but there are also well-balanced frozen lime margaritas, a Tequila-rita with a double shot of spirit and the 190 Octane, which has rum, Everclear liquor and orange flavor.
Other popular frozen drinks are the Liquid Marijuana with rum and vodka and the Memphis Blues with rum and a blue raspberry flavor. Order one to sip on, get a flight with smaller samples or ask for a mix of flavors in one glass.
It may not seem like a big deal, but I rarely see a bar that offers a happy hour that goes later than 6 p.m. D’bo’s is 4-7 p.m. Mon.-Thurs. During this time the frozen drinks are $10 (down from $14) and their other standard cocktails like Long Island Iced Tea, Purple Rain or D’bo’s Punch are $6. Select shots are $5 and beers are $3-$4.
The tropical drinks offer a throwback to warmer seasons, while the menu has comfort foods that we crave year-round. Just in time for football season to really kick in, we’ve got a multitude of chicken wing options. They’re really good, too — I can see why they’ve won all those awards. The wings come with your choice of sauce like mild, hot, “suicidal,” teriyaki, Asian, honey hot, honey gold and honey barbecue. D’bo’s also has dry seasonings: a house blend, lemon pepper, ranch and garlic parm.
D’bo’s has seafood platters or you can add on a seafood item. The lightly breaded catfish was some of the best I’ve ever had. Soft, flaky and mild but lightly seasoned, it is sold as filet strips or as a whole filet. The menu also has a selection of burgers, including turkey and Impossible, a slaw dog and a beef or chicken Philly cheesesteak.
Many dishes — the shrimp, the potatoes and the bread rolls, to name a few — are served in a pool of golden, melted butter.
The square bar with a slick marble top offers a good view of the sports on television, and the small dining room also has banquette seating and a few tables. There is an additional room for parties. It has a similar atmosphere to a Buffalo Wild Wings — but more hip, honestly — with a focus on bar-friendly food and hanging out with friends, maybe sharing a round of shots or watching the big game.
It can get very busy on the weekends and there is often a bit of a wait for a table. That’s when it’s more of a grown- up crowd, but kids are welcome and there is even a “family pack” with wings, sides and more for the whole group.
They don’t really take reservations, but they seem to get pretty busy even on weeknights. If you just want to get some food to go, you can order online or at the carryout counter. You can get drinks to go, too.
D’Bo’s Dqiauiris, Wings & Seafood is open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Fri.-Sat. and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun. at 28595 Northwestern Hwy. in Southfield. Call (248) 809-9402 or visit dboswings.com.
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