Iqaluit Wing Night: Legion vs. Storehouse


iqaluit-wing-night-2-e1412104382365.jpg

If you've ever been in Iqaluit on a Wednesday, then you will know of Wing Night. Iqaluit Wing Night is a weekly event that takes place at not one, but two local venues: the Royal Canadian Legion and the Storehouse. Each spot has its loyal regulars who will staunchly support the merit of their hangout's wings. The two of us, however, were decidedly undecided on the topic, and so we organized an Iqaluit Wing Night pub crawl to compare the two establishments once and for all. Accompanied by a handful of equally curious dinner mates, we visited both the Legion and the Storehouse in one evening, dining on all manner of hot, sweet, and salty wings, while taking note of pricing, ambiance, flavour, and all other aspects that can affect your Wednesday Wing Night experience. Our comparisons across various categories are below, followed by our final verdict on the Iqaluit Wing Night debate.

Wait Time

Legion

Unlike a Friday or Saturday night when the Legion line up is legendarily long, there is rarely, if ever, a wait on Wednesday Wing Night.

StoHo

The early bird gets the worm, or rather, the wing: Seasoned Storehouse wing night patrons will leave work in time to be at the doors before 17:00. If you arrive anywhere between 17:30 and 19:30, you're probably going to have to wait in line. Thankfully, the entrance to the StoHo is actually inside the Astro Hill Complex until about 20:00 (probably because they don't want their patrons to freeze outside).

Waiting in line to get into the Storehouse. Justin has a broken leg so he was allowed to sit down outside of the line up without losing his place.

Waiting in line to get into the Storehouse. Justin has a broken leg so he was allowed to sit down outside of the line up without losing his place.

Seating

Legion

Take your pick. There is ample seating and a moderately-sized crowd, so you'll always find a spot. Note that regular sign-in rules apply: non-members must be signed in by an existing member to enter the Legion at any time.

StoHo

Good luck finding space for your party of ten. The StoHo's capacity can't match its popularity, meaning seats are scarce and space is valuable.

A crowded table at the Storehouse.

A crowded table at the Storehouse.

Service Speed

Legion

At the Legion, place your order and pay at the bar, drop off your receipt at the kitchen window, pick up your wings after your name has been called over the PA system, sauce your wings, and take a seat. There's a good chance you will be fed within 10 minutes of arrival.

DIY sauce station at the Legion.

DIY sauce station at the Legion.

StoHo

The Storehouse is a bit more conventional: grab a seat, flag down a server, place your order, wait for wings to arrive. This means much longer wait times of up to 20-30 minutes, especially because they're often serving at capacity. The plus side is that this gives you ample time for socialization.

The Wings

Legion

Deep fried to golden brown perfection, the Legion's wings are crispier and, according to our totally non-scientific measuring system, slightly meatier.

Seven centimetres of deep-fried chicken goodness.

Seven centimetres of deep-fried chicken goodness.

StoHo

Storehouse wings are generally good, though they seemed (to us) slightly smaller and not as crispy.

Sauces

Legion

There are six sauce-your-own-wings options at the Legion: barbecue, honey garlic, sweet and sour, spicy Thai, hot, and extra hot. There's also a lemon pepper shaker, which is nice because as one of our fellow diners said, "The Storehouse has a tendency to overdress their lemon pepper, so this is key." Another diner remarked that they like to mix a few different sauces together to create their own perfect blend. We chose to try each flavour separately with our saucy sampler.

DIY (dip it yourself): Sampling each of the Legion's six wing sauces.

DIY (dip it yourself): Sampling each of the Legion's six wing sauces.

StoHo

On the sauce-your-own wings at the Legion, one of our friends stated, "I don't trust myself to sauce my own wings. They just end up in a pool of sauce." Well, the Storehouse has you covered with service and variety. To quote our server, "Are you ready?!" They've got: barbecue, honey garlic, honey mustard, lemon pepper, Cajun lime (a fan favourite), mild, medium, hot, voodoo, and suicide. Ask for the latter three with a side of sour cream!

Price

Legion

Get this: 25 cents a wing. Are you kidding?! You can't buy anything for 25 cents anymore– especially in the infamously overpriced sub-Arctic. [August 2015 update: 40 cents a wing.] Not only that, you can order as many or as few as you'd like. You want seven? You'll get seven. You want thirty three? You'll get thirty three.

StoHo

Ten wings will run you $6.00. [March 2016 update: $7.00] Not bad, but definitely not $2.50. [August 2015 update: $4.00] Point, Legion.

A $7.00 serving of Storehouse wings.

A $7.00 serving of Storehouse wings.

Clean Up

Legion

Chicken wings can leave even the most elegant eaters a hot, sticky mess. Thus, it pained us to realize that all the Legion had on hand were plain paper napkins to wipe away the residual sauce and saliva from your fingertips. Quoth one companion, "I'm really wishing I had a wet nap right now."

StoHo

Wish granted: The Storehouse provides a set of wet naps with each order of wings. This is huge, even for us, and you know we like to get dirty.

A paper napkin does not stand a chance against honey garlic sauce.

A paper napkin does not stand a chance against honey garlic sauce.

Ambiance

Legion

It's a Royal Canadian Legion, so you get what you'd expect: a portrait of the Queen, proudly displayed medals, and framed artwork with "Oh Canada" lyrics emblazoned on gold-plated plaques. The patrons are subdued, the lighting is unflattering at best, and the music is practically non-existent (which is good if you actually want to watch the hockey game, we suppose).

StoHo

Think Arctic chic. The Storehouse is decorated with caribou antler chandeliers, a massive polar bear hide, and retro snowmobiles hanging from the ceiling. As the night wears on, the strobe lights come out and the dance floor gets a surprising amount of action for a school night. The crowd is generally younger and more boisterous and the music ranges from oldies to top 40.

Full house at the StoHo.

Full house at the StoHo.

Verdict

Legion

If you're looking for a no-fuss quick and cheap meal of quality wings, the Legion is your go-to option.

StoHo

If you're up for an exciting evening with lively conversations and a possible hump day hangover, the Storehouse is the place to see and be seen.

Have you enjoyed a Wednesday wing night in town? What's your favourite Iqaluit Wing Night location? Let us know in the comments and don't forget to like us on Facebook!