Slim Chickens, an Arkansas-based restaurant specializing in chicken tenders, wings and sandwiches, will open two locations in Tuscaloosa this year.

John Drain, a business owner from Scottsboro, Alabama, will operate both franchises.

“It’s a good concept," Drain said. "They have good chicken and good food at that restaurant and a great way to put it out.”

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While Slim Chickens boasts more than 120 locations in 19 states and internationally, they do not have any restaurants open in Alabama.

Drain said he learned about this company through a vendor that provides services at one of the other businesses he owns – he owns nine Hardee's locations in Southern Tennessee and Northern Alabama, including several locations in the Druid City.

“Slim Chickens is the perfect addition to my portfolio. This brand is a one-of-a-kind restaurant concept. As development opportunities are in high-demand, we wanted to sign with the brand swiftly,” Drain said. “The current momentum behind the brand made now the perfect time to franchise, especially with the contact-free drive-thru and curbside pickup options.”

Drain said that he decided to open a location in Tuscaloosa because he “already [has] operations in place.” He also said that he plans to relocate some employees from his current Hardee’s locations to work at the Slim Chickens restaurants.

Drain's first Slim Chickens will is currently under construction at 635 Skyland Boulevard, in front of the Planet Fitness gym and beside the soon-to-open Walk-On's Sports Bistreaux and is scheduled to open in mid-June.

The second location that Drain has under contract will be located at 2520 McFarland Boulevard in McFarland Plaza next to Red Lobster. Construction is set to begin in mid-May and Drain said he expects the restaurant should open around 90 days after that.

Drain said he hopes the new restaurant will “attract people and tax dollars for the community [in addition to] providing jobs.”

“We’ll probably be able to provide 80 jobs,” Drain said.

Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for more details as they become available.

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