Slim Chickens opening franchise in former Abner's space

Slim Chickens, a fast-casual eatery specializing in chicken tenders, will soon open in the former Abner's location. (Photo by Logan Kirkland, SDN)
By: 
LOGAN KIRKLAND
Staff Writer

A new chicken eatery looks to call Starkville home after recently closing a deal on the property, which was previously owned by Abner's.

Slim Chickens, a fast-casual restaurant chain specializing in chicken tenders and wings looks to open its doors in April right before residents leave for the summer.

Director of Operations for Slim Chickens, David Bagwell said the franchise has ties to both Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi.

The idea for Slim Chickens sparked from an Ole Miss alumnus who got the idea from Abner's and looked to create a business similar in terms of operation.

When asked why he decided to bring Slim Chickens to Starkville, Bagwell said his entire family has ties to MSU, making it a no brainer as to why they should bring it here.

"We have had college towns on the radar ever since we started this plan to develop into Mississippi," Bagwell said. "The reason we are developing in Mississippi is because we're Mississippi native folks and we love the brand and what the brand stands for and we felt like it would do really well here."

As for the location, Bagwell said a neighbor of his in Jackson told him Abner's was closing. Upon seeing the sale, he decided it was the perfect spot for the franchise.

When inspecting the building before purchase, Bagwell noticed the new medians going down Highway 12 were hurting the accessibility of many businesses. He said seeing the location had traffic light access and an intersecting area where residents cut across town, he felt more comfortable buying the property.

"We look at the median and say well obviously people are having some problems from a business standpoint because it's not easy to access these places anymore," Bagwell said. "That's ultimately what made that decision easy for us."

In terms of how the interior will look, Bagwell said they like to leave it "plain and simple" from a design standpoint.

There will be white-washed 12-inch oak slat boards on the walls, leaving the ceiling area exposed with the entire interior painted white.

"It's very open and airy feeling," Bagwell said. "It's just a nice easy going environment to enjoy."

Aside from their chicken and other menu items, Bagwell said their selection of sides tend to be their more unique offering they bring to the table. Some of those sides include fried pickles and mushrooms.
"You can't go wrong in the South with fried okra," Bagwell said.

With the days slowly counting down before Slim Chickens opens, Bagwell said he is excited to have this franchise become a part of the Starkville community.

"We're local people, we're going to hire local people and try to affect a positive change in their life and our customer's lives by being here each and everyday providing that good hospitable service that people want." Bagwell said. "That's what we look to do when we go into a community."

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