Slim Chickens recently overhauled its original location at 2120 N. College Avenue in Fayetteville.
The remodel brought the building’s plumbing and other utility systems up to date and more closely aligned the restaurant’s appearance to the design of the Wedington Drive branch, which has become a prototype for the brand.
C.R. Crawford Construction of Fayetteville handled the exterior construction and Slim Chickens’ project management team worked on the interior.
The location has been open since 2003.
“We were just starting out and shooting from the hip,” said Tom Gordon, founder, president and CEO. “But it’s still a viable store, and a good store for us — a very profitable unit.”
The Slim Chickens system, which includes 12 franchises and 14 corporate branches, has a revenue run rate of about $50 million right now, he said. “That store plays a big part in it.”
The company has been expanding rapidly during the last two years, with multiple locations opening in six states. Before the end of the year, it will add a franchise location in East Peoria, Illinois, and a corporate location in Houston.
“We’re not slowing down,” Gordon said.
With about 150 development deals in the works, he projects the company will open 30 restaurants next year, and 50 in 2017.
If plans come to fruition, there will be Slim Chickens locations as far east as Tennessee, as far north as North Dakota, as far west as Arizona and as far south as Houston.
“We are growing and behaving as a national organization,” Gordon said. “And it’s been a lot of fun.”
At the same time, remodeling the original location shows a commitment to the company’s roots, and along that vein, the plan was to not change the property too radically and allow it to reflect the history that it has.
“We want to invest in Fayetteville and in Northwest Arkansas,” Gordon said.