Waivers required: Two new spicy chicken restaurants set opening dates in Fresno
A flock of spicy chicken restaurants has descended upon the city of Fresno.
The trendy restaurants have been here for a while, actually, and just keep growing in number. Two more eateries specializing in Nashville hot chicken are gearing up to open in the coming days.
One is in central Fresno and the other in north Fresno — and both specialize in the fried, crunchy, spicy chicken served with pickles and coleslaw.
The trend has roots at a Nashville restaurant. The legend goes that the restaurant owner cheated on his lover, who cooked up the spiciest chicken she could as revenge.
Instead of getting the message, he asked for more. The recipe eventually made its way to his restaurant.
Al’s Hot Chicken
Free food will be available at the grand opening of Al’s Hot Chicken on Saturday, March 25.
It’s at the northeast corner of Blackstone and Sierra avenues in the same center as the DMV.
It’s a franchise with seven other locations, most in the Los Angeles area.
The first 100 people in line at the 11 a.m. grand opening will get a free chicken slider. The first customer in line will receive a $50 gift card and the second through 10th customers will get a $25 gift card.
Al’s Hot Chicken serves chicken sandwiches, chicken and waffles, buckets of legs and thighs, tenders, and loaded fries.
Its spicy options range from country (with no spice) to “L.A.’s hottest,” measuring 2.2 million Scoville heat units (a common measurement of how spicy something is). You need to sign a waiver to order that one.
Al’s serves halal chicken, prepared in a way that’s allowed under Islamic dietary laws. The restaurant is in the same spot as Halaly Tacos, which closed during the pandemic.
Details: Al’s Hot Chicken is at 6460 N Blackstone Ave., #105. Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. 559-515-6933.
Houston TX Hot Chicken
The next to open is Houston TX Hot Chicken, at Friant Road and Fresno Street, in the same shopping center as Trader Joe’s. It will hold its grand opening from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 1.
It also sells chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders and waffles, loaded fries and salads. The chicken is organic and free of antibiotics and hormones.
Often called HHC, its spice levels range from no spice and honey butter to “Houston we have a problem!” That clocks in at 2 million Scoville heat units.
And, yes, you have to sign a waiver for that one also.
HHC will give away free original hot chicken sandwiches at the grand opening.
The restaurant has 11 locations in five states.
Details: HHC is at 8482 N Friant Rd #107. Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and from 10:30 a.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
More chicken restaurants
The arrival of the Fresno restaurants follows the opening of Dave’s Hot Chicken in Visalia on Friday, March 24.
That restaurant has a drive-thru and is at 3301 S. Mooney Blvd. in the Sequoia Mall Center. It has tenders, sliders and kale slaw.
It’s open 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and from 10:30 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays.
The new restaurants join an existing roster of chicken restaurants and food trucks opening in recent years, including Angry Chickz, Cheeks’ Chicken & Burgers, CHICK N’ BROS, The Chicken Shack, Fluckers, FURY Hot Chicken, Pacific Fried Chicken Company, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers and Spicy Birdz. The Red Chickz Nashville Hot Chicken is also planning a location at the Marketplace at El Paseo.