Months after opening Alabama's first Slim Chickens restaurant on Skyland Boulevard, a restaurateur group is preparing to open a second location in Tuscaloosa on McFarland Boulevard next month.

Heart of the South Foods, Inc., which owns several restaurant brands throughout the state, said the city's second Slim Chickens will open next to Red Lobster at 2520 McFarland Boulevard East on March 7th.

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The fast growth of the Slim Chickens brand in Tuscaloosa is part of the group's goal to rapidly open 16 new restaurants across Alabama, a spokesperson for Heart of the South Foods said in a Thursday press release. Their plans include opening restaurants in Jefferson, Shelby, St Clair, Blount, and Dekalb Counties.

Locally, the group consists of franchisees John Drain, Denise Drain-Mashburn, and their operating partner Rodney Ramsey.

“We are looking forward to bringing Slim Chickens’ fresh and delicious food to the Tuscaloosa community again,” said Drain-Mashburn, the group’s vice president and chief financial officer. “We saw tremendous success with our Tuscaloosa opening last year and we’re looking forward to further strengthening the bond between our strong customer base within Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama’s student body.”

For the unfamiliar, Slim Chickens offers patrons hand-breaded fried chicken, 17 housemade dipping sauces, Southern-inspired sides and dessert jars at reasonable prices and fast-food speed. Their menu also includes fresh sandwiches, wraps, salads and a signature chicken and waffles entree.

“Our freshly made Southern dishes and homemade recipes create loyal guests who feel good about the food they’re eating, and we’re proud to be able to grow our loyal fan base into the Tuscaloosa market,” Slim Chickens Chief Operating Officer Sam Rothschild said in a press release.

The Tuscaloosa restaurants are just one piece of Slim Chickens’ strategy to become a go-to option for diners across the U.S.

Since the brand was founded in Fayetteville, Arkansas in 2003, they have celebrated more than 140 openings in 26 states and aim to operate 600 restaurants by 2025.

The city's first Slim Chickens restaurant opened on Skyland Boulevard next to Walk-Ons Sports Bistreaux in early August. Scroll through the gallery below for scenes from their opening day, and mark your calendars for March 7th, when the second location is set to open on McFarland Boulevard.

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