Boparan opens new US-style restaurant in Grand Central

US-style fried chicken chain, Slim Chickens opens in Grand Central
X The Business Desk

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Slim Chickens, the popular US fried chicken brand, has opened a 61-cover, 1,100 sq ft restaurant in the high-footfall area of Grand Central shopping centre above New Street Station.

Designed by an in-house team, the new venue, which opened this week, serves the brand’s signature buttermilk marinated, hand-breaded chicken tenders alongside 13 homemade dipping sauces, and classic side dishes from the southern US states.

Slim Chickens opened its first restaurant in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in 2003, and has since built up a strong following across the US, attracting legions of fans with its unique dose of Southern hospitality. It now has over 80 locations in the country.

The new restaurant has created 30 jobs, six of which were offered to former Ed’s Diner’s employees after a company voluntary arrangement to close 27 Giraffe and Ed’s Easy Diner restaurants was approved by creditors in March.

Sam Rothschild, chief operating officer of Slim Chickens, who was in Birmingham for the launch said unlike its predecessor the new restaurant had a long future.

“I think this restaurant will be here for years,” he said. “There’s nothing quite like it and I don’t really see a competitor for what we do.

“We are considered to be fast casual dining as opposed to fast food, which means customers are prepared to pay that little bit more for quality and service. We bring your food, talk to you and clear away.

Slim Chickens has been working with Boparan Restaurant Group for the past two years and the Grand Central restaurant is the fourth to open in the UK with two in London and one in Cardiff.

Rothschild said Boparan sources the chicken: “which is quality fresh chicken – not frozen – and this makes a big difference”.

“Our new restaurant brings a true Southern US hospitality experience to Grand Central,” said Tom Crowley, CEO of Boparan Restaurant Group.

“As part of our expansion plans, we have had a host of successful openings, including a pop-up van in Bullring, and the response has been incredible.

“We are thrilled to have officially opened our fourth permanent location in Birmingham, one of the UK’s fastest-growing cities.”

The arrival of Slim Chickens follows the recent openings of the first site outside of London for popular German eatery Herman Ze German, Edinburgh’s favourite pizza brand, @pizza, and the unique Kitty Café.

Grand Central, was acquired by Hammerson in 2016 £335m from Birmingham City Council, and forms part of the Bullring Estate, which is made up of Bullring, Grand Central and Link Street.