Houston has seen a recent influx of food-related celebrity news, with famous figures like rappers Drake and Ludacris coming to the city to visit Houston hip hop legend Bun B’s burger joint Trill Burgers, and it’s not over yet. Shaquille O’Neal says he’s on his way.
“Houston! I’m comin for ya!” he said in a recent Instagram post.
The NBA Hall-of-Famer, who played in the league for nearly 20 years, will make his way to Houston this weekend to celebrate the grand opening of Texas’s first, standalone brick-and-mortar location of his fast-casual fried chicken sandwich chain, Big Chicken.
Located in Woodland Square at 9660 Westheimer Road, Suite #250, near the El Tiempo on South Gessner Road, the restaurant will kick-off its celebration on Saturday, June 24, with giveaways, a host of games, and a live DJ from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., according to a post.
The restaurant will reportedly be the first of many in the city to serve up chicken dishes and comfort foods — a fusion of O’Neal’s childhood favorites and popular eats today, including crispy chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders, Cheez-It-crusted mac and cheese, and shakes. Some of Big Chicken’s signature items include a “Shaq Attack” chicken sandwich topped with pepper jack cheese, jalapeno coleslaw, and spicy chipotle barbecue sauce; the mac and cheese-loaded “Charles Barkley” with crispy fried onions and roasted garlic aioli; and “Dirty” fries that are covered in cheese, bacon, banana peppers, and chipotle barbecue sauce.
A Big Chicken representative first teased the news that Big Chicken was coming to Texas in April 2022, announcing that Shaq would open various Texas locations before indicating the whearabouts of Houston’s first location in April. In Texas alone, Shaq and Big Chicken’s co-owners have plans to flood the Lone Star state with at least 50 locations in the largest metro areas, including Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin, which already has a location in the Moody Center arena. Outposts are also planned for Richmond and Lubbook later this year, according to the website.
Across the country, the chain has plans to expand with more than 150 locations in various states, and already has locations in Arizona, California, Maryland, Washington, Nevada, Missouri, two Carnival cruise ships, and arenas in Seattle and New York.