Wednesday, February 20, 2019

[ALERT] Chicken Salad Chick to Open "Founder's Restaurant" in Rome

A new Chicken Salad Chick restaurant is being planned for Rome in northwest Georgia.  The new restaurant, which will also feature a drive-thru, will open at 800 Martha Berry Boulevard, not far from Floyd Medical Center.  Chicken Salad Chick will construct a new building on the roughly .7 acre parcel to accommodate their restaurant where Auto Link Motors Detail Shop was previously located.   
A rendering of the upcoming Stacy's Chicken Salad Chick in Rome 
Based in Auburn, Alabama, Chicken Salad Chick was launched by Stacy Brown and her late husband Kevin Brown on January 7, 2008.  The couple began franchising in 2012.    Today, the privately held chain has grown to 109 locations in 12 states, with more than 20 in Georgia.   

Collectively only about a third of the company's restaurants feature a drive-thru and less than 10% are freestanding, making the Rome restaurant special.  

Brown, who spoke exclusively with ToNeTo Atlanta about her upcoming plans, has been out of the day-to-day operations of restaurants since about 2014, but with "hospitality in her blood" and a "passion for serving," she felt the urge to get back in.  Since 2014, Brown had assumed a less restaurant-based role and more of brand ambassador position, while also guiding the business from a directional standpoint.  

To understand why this restaurant is so special to Brown you must first know that Brown is a native of Rome and also a 1992 graduate of Rome's prestigious Darlington School. 

Over the years, Brown says, the company received a number of inquiries from individuals interested in opening a Chicken Salad Chick franchise in Rome.  Both because the company originally targeted larger markets and because Brown feared no one would do Rome justice like she would, the company resisted granting anyone a Rome franchise.  

"Rome is such a special place for me, it was hard to imagine a Rome store being run by anyone else."  

Chicken Salad Chick describes its purpose as "Spread joy, enrich lives, and serve others," Brown plans to take this mantra to the next level with her Rome restaurant.  

The Rome location is being opened by Brown along with Auburn businessman King Braswell through his company, KQC, LLC.  Brown will operate the restaurant not as a corporate store, but as an independent franchise.  

While Brown has no plans to relocate back to Rome on a permanent basis, she does plan to spend a good deal of time in the area in advance of and after the restaurant's opening.  "It's only about two and half hours and an easy day trip," Brown said of the proximity of Rome to her current home and family in Auburn, Alabama.   

The Rome restaurant - officially "Stacy's Chicken Salad Chick" - will be known as "the founder's restaurant," and will be unlike any other Chicken Salad Chick location.  

Jared Bussey, the Birmingham-based architect designing the restaurant, seems primarily to design homes which could explain the residential-inspired restaurant design.  

Brown hopes that a visit to any Chicken Salad Chick - with their homey fixtures and residential elements - creates a sense of warmth and hospitality.  A visit to Stacy's Chicken Salad Chick, with its courtyard and natural canopy of trees that come together to form a roof, will provide a space where guests will be "overwhelmed with warmth." 

Among the 2,863 square foot restaurant's unique features are a 40' by 40' outdoor courtyard with seating, a fireplace, throw pillows and other elements foreign in basically all other quick-serve restaurants.   

There will be many other plantings around the property including creeping fig and jasmine that will help to create the sense of being in a botanical garden.  

The interior of the restaurant will provide the history of the "roots of of the restaurant," and will honor Stacy's late husband and restaurant co-founder Kevin who passed away in late 2015 after fighting stage 4 colon cancer.  His passing gave direction to the "Chicken Salad Chick Foundation," which has made multiple sizable donations to various cancer centers as well as the American Cancer Society.    

Stacy Brown with her late husband Kevin and their four children 

Chicken Salad Chick's menu features more than a dozen Southern-style, made from scratch, chicken salads as well as side salads, soups, sandwiches and assorted desserts.  Brown says she has no immediate plans for the Rome restaurant to offer any special menu items, but did say "I'm always up for testing new things."  

It's worth noting, too, that Rome is home to a number of people behind some of the restaurant's popular sandwiches.  "Sassy Scotty" is named for Stacy's best friend since kindergarten, "Cranberry Kelli" is named for Stacy's sister-in-law, and "Nutty Nanna" is named for Stacy's mother Cheryl Melton, all of whom are current Rome residents.  The "Fruity Fran" was named for Stacy's aunt who recently passed but who also lived in Rome.

Brown indicated that she plans to provide jobs for between 35 to 40 people at the new restaurant and hopes to be open by late summer.   

Chicken Salad Chick joins a popular corridor along Martha Berry where in recent years new locations of Wendy's and Cook Out have opened, as well as a new Publix-anchored shopping center.  Martha Berry is also home to renovated locations of both Arby's and Bojangles' as well as a Honey Baked Ham.  

Atlanta-based private equity firm Eagle Merchant Partners, led by former FOCUS Brands CEO Russ Umphenour, made a strategic investment in Chicken Salad Chick in 2015 and their ongoing capital has allowed for the restaurant to continue to expand.

This past December, Chicken Salad Chick purchased 11 Atlanta area franchised units from Atlanta-based Origin Development Group, bringing the total of company-owned locations to 32.  

At the time of the purchase, Chicken Salad Chick indicated that they intend to open 40 additional locations in 2019, which will be a mix of company and franchisee-owned.  According to Brown, the company is currently opening between one and two restaurants per week.  

Are you excited for the opening of Chicken Salad Chick in Rome?  What is your favorite Chicken Salad Chick flavor?  Where would you like to see Chicken Salad Chick open next?  

Please share your thoughts below  


Cece said...

If I had my wish, I would love to see a free-standing, drive thru location in Snellville, Loganville, or Monroe. The Athens location is nice, but a little too far !!

Anonymous said...

CSC is always busy and I wish them success. IMHO the product is overpriced and flavorless. By flavorless I mean you can't tell a difference in the varieties of chicken salad apart. On one visit, it was discovered that I had indeed ordered the Fancy Nancy selection - when the only notable difference was an full grape!

Anonymous said...

If we're wishing... I wish they would open in the city somewhere. I love their chicken salad.

Shirley Childers said...

I visit your restaurant on Barrett Parkway in Marietta. My choice is the Cranberry Kelli. I attended church with your Aunt Carol.

Charlotte AGriggs said...

Visit your Barrett Pky Marietta Ga locations often. I an old friend with your Anunt Carol and Uncle Don S. Worked with Don.
Love Carols chick Salad . Amother favorite Fancy Nancy .
Charlotte Griggs

Oak Grove Ski Club said...

We desperately need CSC in Decatur! All the new development in Decatur near NDecatur Rd and Lawrenceville Hwy would be perfect as well as the TocoHill shopping center that has gone under renovations. I love Dixie Chicken Salad and get it in Athens when visiting my girls or drive to Roswell Rd location which is not convenient.

Unknown said...

That's probably because all of the flavors contain the same base, the classic Carol thingy.

Deb Maxwell said...

Yahoo!!! We love CSC. Can't wait for them to come to Rome. Now we won't have to go to Kennesaw to get our chicken salad on. They are the best!

Unknown said...

Love Chicken Salad Chick, what about Florence Alabama, I have to drive 45 minutes to closest one right now in Decatur alabama

Anonymous said...

I'm excited to be a part of this opening. Stacy is an amazing person and Chicken Salad Chick is a great brand. We look forward to serving everyone in Rome, GA

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...