m-m-m-Margaritas give diners a new reason to love Spangles

Written by Joe Stumpe

It’s happy hour all day, every day at Spangles.

No, Spangles hasn’t transformed itself into a corner bar, but it has added margaritas and screwdriver slushes to its menu — and at eye-popping prices.

For 99 cents, customers can get a 16-ounce margarita, strawberry margarita or screwdriver slush. A 35-ounce “grande” size of either drink is $2.99. Both are served in ice-cold mugs and an extra shot of tequila or vodka is just 99 cents more.

Sorry, no to-go orders. Still, you could say it’s the biggest beverage news from Spangles since — you know what’s coming — the m-m-m-Mudslide. Popping in for one of the frosty cocktails and an order of Sweet Thai Chile wings or humongous beer-battered onion rings just might become a thing — and the smartest move you can make for your wallet and tummy.

Spangles started testing the drinks at its Woodlawn and 21st location in Wichita several months ago. It quickly became clear that they’d need to order a whole lot more mugs.

“It seemed to take off — I mean really take off,” Spangles spokeswoman Rene Steven said.

The drinks are now available at all 27 Kansas locations, including those in Topeka, Hutchinson, Salina, El Dorado, Derby, Andover, Emporia and Park City.

The main goal was that the drinks stand up to customers’ expectations, Steven said. The margarita is served over ice, while the screwdriver is a vodka-infused version of Spangles’ signature orange juice slush. There’s also a strawberry version of the margarita.

“We didn’t want people to go ‘Oh, I can hardly taste the alcohol,’” Steven said. “We wanted them to be shocked and say, ‘That’s the real deal.’ ”

Mission accomplished.

“We make your margarita fresh,” Steven said. “We make your food fresh. We want it to be perceived as a good quality margarita. That’s how we do everything else.”

The drinks go great with Spangles’ regular menu of burgers, sandwiches and wraps but also lend themselves to casual noshing on appys with friends and family. Four varieties of boneless wings (Buffalo Garlic Parmesan, Sweet Thai Chile, Honey BBQ and Oriental), huge onion rings (“twice the size of any fast-food restaurant,” according to Steven), chicken strips and seasoned French fries (Garlic Parmesan, Salt and Vinegar, Buffalo And Ranch) are available.

Steven said people “are coming in at all times of day” to sample the drinks, even a few in the morning. Don’t judge — they’re a group of third-shift employees of a local hospital who occasionally unwind after a long night.

“People come in happy,” Steven said, “and they leave happy.”

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