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D-Spot brings its wings and burgers to Ellie's

D-Spot creator Darin Koch, second from left, now offers his chicken wings and hamburgers at Ellie's on Main in downtown Hudson. He's joined by, from left, sous-chef Mike Woodall, Ellie's manager Jeremy Jones and bartender Andy Whitehead. (Hudson Star-Observer photos by Randy Hanson)1 / 2
The secret to the gourmet flavor of D-Spot chicken wings and burgers is the sauce. Executive Chef Darin Koch makes them from scratch - using fresh, high-quality ingredients. In the foreground, left, is the D-Burger - two patties of ground beef and cheese, topped with coleslaw and fries.2 / 2

A popular Maplewood, Minn., restaurant is now offering its chicken wings at Ellie's on Main Sports Bar in downtown Hudson.

Ellie's has invited Darin Koch, owner of the D-Spot at 705 Century Avenue North, take over management of the bar's kitchen.

Twenty-five flavors of the wings that have made Koch's restaurant a must-go place for connoisseurs of the appetizer are now on the menu at Ellie's, along with nine of Koch's specialty burgers.

Koch says that by the end of September 80 to 90 styles of wings will be offered, rotating seasonally.

The 39-year-old Koch worked in fine-dining restaurants for 20 years before opening his own casual establishment two and a half years ago.

"I kind of got into doing burgers and wings just for the fact that some people make it so serious," says the high-energy Koch, enthusiastically rattling off the ingredients of various sauces.

"What I took is a blank canvas that used to be really, really inexpensive and just gave it flavors," he says of his chicken wings.

Koch has drawn upon his experience as a gourmet chef to create sauces for wings that are typically reserved for meat and fish in high-end restaurants.

"The different aromatics, different textures give you those fine-dining flavors that are done from scratch -- on something so simple that you are picking it up and eating it with your fingers," Koch says. "And you don't have to have a sommelier come over and sell you a bottle of wine and spend $175. It's pub food. Just enjoy it."

The D-Spot wings are priced at $7 for six and $12 for a dozen.

"My prices are at what they have to be. They're jumbo wings," says Koch. He refers to a popular restaurant chain's wings as pigeon wings in comparison.

"I want to justify. I want to make sure that you're happy," he says. He wants repeat customers.

Two 3M Co. employees who made a special trip to Hudson last week to check out D-Spot's new location are among Koch's satisfied customers.

They're the best wings he's ever tasted, one of the men said as his finished off an order of Tarantula wings. The menu is filled with intriguing names for the wing recipes.

Soy glaze, roasted and fried garlic, chili, and dry rub are among the ingredients in the Tarantula sauce.

The burgers are priced from $5.25 for an original quarter-pounder to $8.50 for the big ones. The Emma James, named after one of Koch's daughters, is a double patty with smoked pancetta, a fried egg and harissa aioli.

Onion rings and French fries can by purchased a la carte at $2.75 for a small order and $5 for a large one.

The Ellie's kitchen is open from noon to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from noon to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The bar is located at 417 Second St.

For more information about D-Spot, go online to

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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