New Restaurant Focuses on ‘Bird, Bacon, Bun’ Menu Items

Midland has a new restaurant in town, and this one has a winning recipe. Winner Winner, which specializes in ‘bird, bacon, bun,’ opened on May 4, and has seen a steady turnout for the last three weeks. “We tried to do a soft-opening, but Midland caught word, so they came rushing at us,” co-owner Melissa Welch laughs. 
Chicken & waffles: chicken thigh, savory waffle, banana chips, parsley, maple syrup
Welch has a long history in the hospitality industry, since she was in high school. “I took a culinary class my senior year,” Welch says. “After high school, I started as a dishwasher and worked my way up to line cook. I went to culinary school for about half a year. ”Welch has also been a pastry chef, a sous chef, general manager, and now, restaurant co-owner with her husband, Jim. 

“My husband and I have traveled to a few places for fried chicken,” Welch says. “We’ve gone to Detroit for chicken, Nashville and a couple other places in Tennessee. We fell in love with really good chicken, and there hasn’t really been anything like that around here. You pretty much have to travel to Iva’s Chicken Dinners or to Frankenmuth to get any kind of fried chicken that’s not fast food. We wanted to bring some good food into Midland, and we’re hoping that everyone enjoys it.”

So far, the most popular menu item is the Winner Winner fried chicken sandwich. Welch says they try to keep reasonable prices for food, with sides ranging from $4 for a regular to $10 for a large, and main menu items ranging from $8-11.

Loaded bacon fry: waffle fries, house made bacon cheese sauce, bacon, green onion
“Our portions are pretty big too,” she says. “We do our in-house orders on real plates, we don’t have plastic ware for that and when we plate up the ‘winner winner,’ people are always very surprised when we hand it to them because it’s a very big sandwich. Nine dollars might seem like a lot, but you’re getting your money’s worth.”

Welch says she plans on keeping menu items fresh and rotating new options “so it’s not just fried chicken all day every day.” New options include chicken corn chowder and chicken chili, which fit with the business’ theme, ‘bird, bacon, bun.’ Menu items are made-in house with no frozen or pre-battered chicken. They also feature 13 different sauces, including the winner winner sauce, made in-house. “It’s similar to a honey mustard, but it’s a little zestier,” Welch says. “It’s not spicy at all, just a hearty, flavorful honey mustard, a little tangy. 
Winner Winner is located at the corner of Bay City and Waldo in Midland.
In the three weeks it’s been open, Welch is happy to see Midland enjoying their restaurant. “People are really liking our food, and they’re very understanding about us being very new, so we’ve been thankful for that,” she says. 

The restaurant holds about 40-45 diners, and is open for dine-in and takeout. Customers can place orders online as well. Winner Winner is located at 3216 Bay City Road in Midland, and is open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and closed on Sunday. 

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Sarah Spohn.

Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at