MOSES LAKE - For Jeff Miller, owning a restaurant was always his ultimate goal.
"I've been doing cheese steaks for a long time and serving them up to my friends," he said. "They always asked me when I was going to set up my own restaurant."
Miller said he would always tell people he had a two-year plan. But that plan went out the window when he recently heard the BBQ Depot would be closing its doors for good.
"I contacted the owners and the rest is history," he said. "It wasn't what I planned but it just seemed to be the perfect time."
Although Miller said he initially went searching for a chef to run his new kitchen after acquiring the restaurant space, he ended up with a business partner.
Executive chef Jem Kowallis said Miller called him and asked if he wanted a gig at his restaurant.
"I told him no," said Kowallis. "But I did suggest we go into business together, so that's how it all came about."
While Miller brings his homemade cheese steaks to the table, Kowallis said his specialty is wings.
"I grew up in New York where wings are really big," said Kowallis. "So I came up with a basic recipe for wings about 15 years ago and have added multiple flavors since then."
Kowallis said putting Miller's cheese steaks and his wings on the same menu seemed like the perfect idea.
Kowallis said Miller originally wanted to name the restaurant Nia's, after Miller's 5-year-old daughter Nia. When the two decided to go into business together, Kowallis said he wanted to add something to the name.
"My son Karson is friends with Nia, they know each other from church" said Kowallis. "So Nia Karson's just rolled off the tongue."
With the name of their restaurant settled, Kowallis and Miller opened Nia Karson's Cheesesteaks Wings and Things on March 1.
Nia Karson's offers a variety of cheese steaks and wing flavors, said Kowallis.
"We have a really good chicken cheese steak," he said. "There's also a New York cheese steak, which is dripping with Velveeta cheese."
Kowallis said Nia Karson's also specializes in the Philly cheese steak and the Po'Boy Philly.
"Then you have the wings," he said.
Nia Karson's has a variety of wing flavors to choose from, including hot wings and Hawaiian wings, he said.
"It's a little different than the buffalo style wings," he said. "These are flavorful and sweet."
Kowallis said they went through about 2,000 wings on their opening night.
"People are just loving it," he said.
Nia Karson's is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays They are located at 805 W. Broadway Ave in Moses Lake.