Dining With Denise Neil

How many chicken places can Wichita handle? Another is coming, this one to Rock Road

Almost a year ago, an Omaha-based restaurant group announced that it was bringing Cowboy Chicken, a “cowboy-style” fast casual restaurant that focuses on wood fire rotisserie chicken, to Wichita.

And now, the group (which also brought HuHot to Wichita) has pinpointed a location. Although it’s not revealing exactly where, a spokesperson for the group said that the company has signed a lease for a space on North Rock Road and that the restaurant should be ready to open by late May. (The chain once said it was interested in spots near its HuHot at 21st and Rock. Anyone have any location guesses?)

Cowboy Chicken, which has restaurants all over the country, including in Manhattan and in Oklahoma City, specializes in wood fire chicken meals, sandwiches and salads. The menu also has chicken enchiladas, soups and sides like corn fritters, creamed spinach, fried okra, sweet potatoes and twice baked potatoes.

Cowboy Chicken is just the latest chicken chain to pinpoint Wichita for expansion. Slim Chickens opened in May of last year at 2313 N. Greenwich, and the Chick N Max chain launched the first of three planned Wichita restaurants earlier this month. (It should have a second ready in March and a third by summer.)

Also, national chain Chicken N Pickle – which combines pickle ball courts with fried and rotisserie chicken – says it plans to open a restaurant in the Plazzio Center at 13th and Greenwich by fall.

And last fall, a franchisee of Church’s Chicken – the chain that abruptly closed all its Wichita restaurants in 2015 – announced his intention to return the chain to the market, likely starting with a restaurant at 13th and Oliver.

That’s all on top of already established Wichita chicken restaurants like Stroud’s, Krispy’s, Dempsey’s Biscuit Co, Louisiana Famous Fried Chicken, Popeyes and Chick-Fil-A (which is adding a new restaurant at Maple and Ridge this year.)

So how many chicken restaurants can Wichita handle?

It looks like 2018 might be the year to find an answer to that question.

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