Yes, we know that the Wesley Chapel area already has The Chicken Boss, Chick-fil-A, King of the Coop, Chick’n Fun, Zaxby’s, Popeye’s and many other restaurants, chain and mom-and-pop, that specialize in fried chicken (and/or wings) in its many (sometimes) delicious forms. 

Even so, as we reported months ago that it was coming, the latest news is that Wesley Chapel’s next entry into these “Chicken Wars” will be Slim Chickens, a chain founded in 2003 in Fayetteville, AR, with more than 225 units already open and with 1,200+ in development across most of the U.S. 

Specializing in hand-breaded chicken tenders, Slim Chickens’ Wesley Chapel location was still hiring at our press time and was expected to open by Thursday, August 17, according both to a Google search and a spokesperson at the nearly-completed building at 27244 Wesley Chapel Blvd., or about halfway between Chick’n Fun and The Wing House. 

With its nearest location to us on S. Macdill Ave. in Tampa, the Wesley Chapel location also will serve the chain’s new Nashville hot and other chicken sandwiches, wings, salads, Southern-style sides (including fried okra, mac n’ cheese and fried pickles) and, of course, its “Slim Sweets” signature desserts served in mason jars, like chocolate brownie pudding. 

For more information, visit — GN 

Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar Getting Close To Opening On WC Blvd., Too! 

A few miles south of Slim Chickens, at 25026 Wesley Chapel Blvd. extension (in the same plaza as Chicken Salad Chick) in Lutz is the Shuckin’ Shack Oyster Bar, which will be the 20th link in a chain that already has locations in seven states, including the nearest to us in Ocala. That Shuckin’ Shack also is owned by Brad Harper, who is opening the Lutz/ WC location. 

Founded in Carolina Beach, NC, in 2007 by co-founders Matt Piccinin and Sean Cook — because of the co-founders’ shared “craving for fresh oysters” — Shuckin’ Shack began franchising locations in 2014 and features raw, steamed and chargrilled oysters, “sharkbite” shrimp (because “bang-bang” and “firecracker” were already taken, according to, scallops, snow crab legs (by the lb. or 1/2-lb.), crab “balls,” calamari, fresh clams and mussels and a variety of sampler and family-style options, like a “Low Country Boil.” 

There also is an ahi tuna appetizer, but no fresh fish entrées on the menu, but there is a fried cod sandwich and mahi tacos (there also are shrimp, tuna, chicken and even oyster tacos), as well as wings, salads, po-boy and other sandwiches, quesadillas and even shrimp ‘N grits. 

And yes, when it opens later this summer, Shuckin’ Shack will feature a full liquor bar and will be managed by our new friends Alie and Hunter (photo, right). Watch our “Neighborhood News” Facebook page for opening date updates. — GN 

Sorbo To Open In Former Bru Growler Bar Location 

In the Shoppes at Wesley Chapel plaza at 2653 Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. (across from AdventHealth Wesley Chapel) that already is home to Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Latin Twist Café, The Hungry Greek and Umu Japanese & Thai, the former location of Bru Growler Bar and Buttermilk Provisions before that will go back to its coffee-&-tea roots, as Sorbo Coffee • Tea • Bakery • Wine (photo) is expected to open by sometime this fall. 

The partners who own Umu also are involved in the ownership of Sorbo, as our friend Chef Will told us when we stopped in a few days before we went to press with this issue. “Sorbo will serve coffee, tea and a variety of pastries for breakfast and become a wine bar in the afternoon,” Will said. “We are excited to be bringing this new concept to Wesley Chapel.” 

All I can say after my sneak peek inside is that the place already looks pretty great (and upscale) and will be a welcome addition to the community. — GN 

Playa Bowls Not Open Yet 

Speaking of the Shoppes at Wesley Chapel, we told you a couple of issues ago that Playa Bowls — the beach-themed açai-&-more healthy bowl chain with more than 200 locations — was planning to open on or around June 17. 

Also known as “Pineappleland,” Playa Bowls was still not open at our press time and we had no word yet from local franchise owners Tabitha Castro and Pablo Reid as to when it will open. For more info, visit— GN 

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