Hungry for some chicken? Before too long your choices could be (l.-r.) Slim Chickens, Chick’n Fun, King of the Coop, Popeyes and Chick-Fil-A. (Graphic by John C. Cotey)

Chicken lovers rejoice — yet another entry into the “fast-casual” chicken tender and sandwich business is ready to start building.

Slim Chickens, a fast-casual chain that specializes in chicken tenders, wings, sandwiches, salads, wraps and chicken & waffles, has now filed its plans to build a 3,065-sq.-ft. restaurant on the southeast corner of Wesley Chapel Blvd. and Old Pasco Rd.

Not only that, but Slim Chickens also has plans to build another location in the Mirada Market on S.R. 52.

Until now, it’s been slim pickins’ for Slim Chickens in the Tampa Bay area. While the restaurant has more than 100 locations in more than 30 states, these will be just the second and third locations in the Tampa Bay area, joining the lone existing Slim Chickens near Macdill Air Force Base.

The new location will create a chicken-eat-chicken world of competition along Wesley Chapel Blvd. (see map on the next page), as a Chick’n Fun restaurant is just a short walk east from Slim Chickens, which is just another short walk from King of the Coop, which is another short jaunt from Popeye’s and then Chick-Fil-A, and of course, off S.R. 56 are Zaxby’s and PDQ (not shown on map). — JCC

The Clarksville, TN Black Rifle Coffee Company store.

Black Rifle Coffee Coming To S.R. 56?

With coffee chain powerhouse Starbucks adding two more locations in Wesley Chapel — one at the new Promenade Business Center on Curley Rd. and the other in front of The Grove off Wesley Chapel Blvd., a lesser-known chain is making plans for a local location.

Black Rifle Coffee Company, founded in 2014 by former U.S. Army Green Beret Evan Hafer, was built upon the mission to serve coffee and culture to people who love America. Popular with conservatives and those in favor of right-wing politics, Black Rifle submitted pre-application plans to the county for a planned 2,659-sq.-ft. retail store and drive-through immediately east of the Rock & Brews on S.R. 56, a half-mile or less from Starbucks.

Despite Black Rifle’s attempts to distance itself from extremists, based upon recent election results and the bright red politics of Pasco County, a Black Rifle café seems like an ideal fit. — JCC

Hickory Farms Opens At Wiregrass Mall! 

Although this issue hits mailboxes after Thanksgiving, it certainly is reaching you long before Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, and our local malls, as they do every year, are adding several new stores — many of which are temporary for the holiday season.

Among the newbies at The Shops at Wiregrass is Hickory Farms, which (according to its website) has “been bringing delight to every occasion since 1951.” Although there also are pre-made baskets available, at right is a picture of Hickory Farms’ four-item special — 1 meat, 1 cheese, 1 sauce & 1 box of crackers for just $24.99. Yum! 

For all of the new and coming soon stores and restaurants (including Crazy Sushi!), visit — GN  

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