Houstonians are mere weeks away from getting their hands on all of the fried chicken goodness offered at Shaquille O’Neal’s Big Chicken, which has tentatively set the opening date of its first Houston location for March 14. The fried chicken restaurant will be in good company, opening in the Westchase area in Woodland Square at 9660 Westheimer Road, Suite #250, near other noteworthy restaurants like El Tiempo and Kassra Persian Grill.
Preparations for putting together an all-star team have begun, as a call for hiring hourly and management positions has been put out.
Fried chicken isn’t a hard sell in Texas, and Houstonians specifically can’t seem to get enough with restaurants like Frenchy’s, Gatlin’s Fins & Feathers, and Esther’s Cajun Cafe seemingly drawing in the crowds day in and day out. At Big Chicken, they’ll get the opportunity to have a taste of O’Neal’s home-cooked childhood favorites fused with modern, trending flavors. The menu showcases crispy chicken sandwiches and fried tenders, Cheez-It-crusted macaroni and cheese, and hand-crafted ice-cream milkshakes.
This is the second Texas location of the fast-growing fried chicken chain, which already has an outpost in the Moody Center Arena in Austin, along with stores in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, on Carnival cruise ships, and in arenas in Seattle and New York.
Big Chicken launched in 2018 as a collaboration between O’Neal; JRS Hospitality, a Las Vegas-based ownership group; and Authentic Brands Group, a multi-national brand development, marketing and entertainment company. In just five years, it has skyrocketed in popularity and garnered a cult following for its Insta-worthy eats.
Its initial expansion into Texas is just the beginning. 50 more locations are expected to open within the state, with an additional 150 in states including California, Florida, Nevada, Idaho, Illinois, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, and Tennessee, further intensifying its footprint across the nation.