Friday, August 29, 2014

Update: Sarasota Chicken Kitchen aiming for November opening

Update: Chicken Kitchen now expecting Nov. 15 soft opening.

Original post:
Miami-based Chicken Kitchen is expected to open in mid-October and start hiring soon.
Rendering of the Sarasota Chicken Kitchen. Rendering Provided

The Herald reported in April how Gris Bettle and his brother-in-law Justin Mattina of West Bradenton are opening the poultry eatery inside The Market at University Town Center (formerly called University Park Center). The restaurant will be at 5215 University Parkway, beside Tijuana Flats.

Now as construction has moved along, Bettle said Friday that the restaurant is on track to start hiring in late September and hope to open mid-October, right when the Mall at University Town Center is expected to open.

Here is what you can expect from Chicken Kitchen from my April report:

"Chicken Kitchen is known for its hour-long grilling process and aims to give a more personable experience than the cafeteria-line fast food joints. The signature items include Chop-Chop, which is diced chicken dishes that customers can hear the distinct chopping sound while in line, and Wrapitos, which are grilled tortilla wraps.
"We only have all-white meat chicken, and we don't own a microwave or a freezer," said Bettle, a St. Stephen's Episcopal School graduate. "Everything's fresh, and the chicken is all natural, so it's raised antibiotic free."
Plus, the chicken shouldn't be warming in a container, waiting to be ordered.
"The food's coming right off the grill, and in 30 seconds it's right on your plate, and you're eating something that's freshly prepared," Mattina said, adding the experience gives a little bit of theater to dining."

The brothers-in-law said they hoped to tweak the operation and menu offerings a little bit to make the restaurant a better franchise model, something that the restaurant had an issue with through its history of promoting franchise opportunities and little to show for it.

Chicken Kitchen also has started a Facebook page,, which will encompass other potential Chicken Kitchen locations in Tampa Bay. The two have a five-year plan to open six restaurants in Tampa Bay.