Established in Arkansas in 2003, Slim Chickens is a fast-food chain specializing in chicken strips that have been dipped in a buttermilk batter and hand-breaded. In 2008, the chain was expanded to five locations, then in 2013 the chain began franchising. Since then, the group has expanded rapidly, even opening locations in the United Kingdom and Kuwait. There are currently more than 75 locations. The newest Slim Chickens opened in Ashland on July 2.

Tom Wright, owner of Slim Chickens in Ashland, explained how he decided to pursue the new business opportunity.

"I own the Sbarro Pizza at the Ashland Town Center, and The Moe's in Ashland as well as Penn Station franchises in Ashland and Huntington," he said. "I had thought a new chicken place would be good for the area. So I traveled a bit and tried some different restaurants. I heard about the concept so I went to one to try the food and thought it was better than all of the others."

About 18 months ago, Wright started negotiations with the Ashland Town Center to build a Slim Chickens there.

"We started construction in March and it was a pretty straightforward process. We had to build from the ground up because it was a parking lot."

"We really didn't have to do a lot to advertise it other than some billboards and announcing that we were hiring in the papers. When you build a new building like this, word of mouth gets around."

The response has been good, Wright said.

"We were really busy on opening day and the next day was even more crazy. We didn't think we would be busy on the Fourth of July, but we had to open the doors early."

The restaurant specializes in chicken tenders. You can get them on a plate, three for $6.99, five for $8.49 or 10 for $10.49. All plates are served with Texas toast, fries and your choice of dipping sauces. You can also get wings in combinations of a six-wing plate for $9.49 or an eight-wing plate for $10.99 served in sauce choices such as barbecue, sweet red chili and mango habanero.

"Our chicken is always fresh, moist and we make sure to give a light breading that's not too thick. We give you a pretty good chunk of meat. We have a number of sauces. Our house sauce is called Slim's Sauce. We have several types of barbecue sauce including Korean barbecue and honey barbecue. I think the cayenne ranch is good. Our chicken sandwich is absolutely delicious. It's a big breast," Wright said. "We have homemade desserts that we serve in mason jars. Some days we have strawberry shortcake, some days we have brownie fudge. For the Fourth of July we had white cake with strawberries and blueberries: red, white, and blue. We also have house-brewed iced tea. You can order sweet tea, unsweetened tea, raspberry tea or peach tea."

If you are looking for a late brunch, you can enjoy chicken and waffles for under $8. There's also a cayenne ranch chicken sandwich plate and a Slim's salad also priced around $8. Side items include mac and cheese, coleslaw, potato salad and fried okra.

Slim Chickens is located at 702 Carter Ave. in Ashland near J.C. Penney's in the Ashland Town Center mall. It is open from 10:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. seven days a week. Cash and all major credit cards are accepted. For more information, call 479-935-4444, visit https://slimchickens.com/location/ashland-ky-702-carter-avenue-41101/ or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SlimChickensAshland.

Name: Slim Chickens

Type of food: Chicken strips, wings, sandwiches and salads

Address: 702 Carter Ave., Ashland

Hours: 10:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. every day.

Phone number: 479-935-4444

Payments accepted: Cash and all major credit cards

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