Authentic Southern style flavor in Humboldt
Former restaurant Rax on Rax BBQ reopened as Rax on Rax Wings on Sept. 1, by Black business owner Wess Vega and business partner Reginald Pass, who goes by RJ. Rax on Rax Wings is a Southern Styled Wing restaurant that offers a variety of flavored wing meals with fries.
Vega, originally from South Carolina, found his way to Humboldt seven years ago when he became homeless in his home state. Without a clue to what or where Humboldt was, he reached out to a brother and couch surfed until he got himself situated and making money as a recording artist and producer in the area.
Although Vega was acquainted with music in Humboldt, he wanted to venture out as an entrepreneur as well, so he decided to create Rax on Rax Wings. Vega has been surrounded by business his entire life; his parents owned a pizza restaurant for 13 years in South Carolina as well as a fashion line.
“I am a two time national recording artist and producer,” Vega said. “This business was on the side; it was a chance for me to be an entrepreneur.”
Vega built the restaurant in 2019 as Rax On Rax BBQ which focused on Southern soul food, but the restaurant did not go as planned. Vega found himself at a breaking point when he connected with his cousin RJ. They talked about the business, and RJ offered his help, advice, and perspective as an outsider looking in.
Vega knew he wanted to keep the Rax on Rax foundation strong, and ensure customer satisfaction with food and service.
“Wess was already acclimated to having a food business and we were just going over things to make things run smoother,” RJ said.
The community kitchen had been used by the staff since 2019 for their southern food. They decided to continue to use the space and reduce their inventory, solely focusing on wings and fries, in addition to keeping some of the flavors and sauces that they had already used.
“They specialize in the wings, which is really nice because they put in that extra care,” said Charlie Sleep, a customer since September. Sleep’s favorite flavor is lemon pepper.
- Gold Sauce
- Original BBQ
- Lemon Pepper
- Fire Buffalo
- Garlic Parmesan
- Smokey Pineapple
- Honey Garlic
- Smothered Gravy
Vega doesn’t shy away from his southern roots. He mentioned that the chicken wings are all deep fried southern style wings.
“I grew up southern my whole life, the flavor and seasoning aren’t just something I looked up online and tried to put together,” Vega said.
Rax on Rax’s Instagram page has been popping with customers all over Humboldt county. Customers can’t seem enough of the wings.
Laura Moore has been a customer since September and found the location through social media when she was looking for a caterer for her son’s birthday. “The owner was able to pull off making 100 wings with different sauces at the very last minute,” she said. Moore shared that her favorite flavor was the garlic parmesan.
Vega takes his identity as a musician and intertwines the two businesses. The name for the restaurant Rax on Rax came from one of Vega’s favorite songs Rack by YC ft. Future.
Running both businesses has not been easy. Vega says discipline, time management, self-care, and focusing on those who care, help him be able to juggle everything.
The reopening of the business was designed to work through Covid-19 as they offer curbside pick up and delivery. They also offer DoorDash services for delivery and pickup.
Although they love using the community kitchen, they are excited to be expanding their business to the Myrtle Plaza sometime in January 2022. It will be a dine-in experience for customers and community members to enjoy real authentic southern style flavor.
“I am excited for what the new location will bring to the community,” RJ said.
Follow Rax on Rax Wings on Instagram and Facebook @RaxonRaxWings for updates on all things wings. They are open Wed. – Sat. 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. and can be called at (707) 630-2592 to place an order. Customers can place orders via Doordash.