Damon Miller, owner of the Downtown Fresno Chicken Shack location, said several more stores are in the pipeline. Photo by Edward Smith

published on July 16, 2020 - 10:45 AM
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Chicken Shack fans — prepare to see the name hatching throughout the Central Valley.

The wing, burger and salad eatery that began in Hanford is set to make appearances in Selma and Clovis, with new locations slated for Tulare, Madera and Merced, as well as a possible location in West Fresno near Highway 99.

The location in Selma will be the first to arrive in mid-August, licensed by owner Asham Gill, who owns the Liquor Locker convenience store nearby, said Damon Miller, owner of the Chicken Shack location in Hanford and two in Fresno. Miller, who has become the de facto regional developer for Chicken Shack, has been helping Gill get the location up and running. The 3,400 square-foot location will feature a bar area serving craft brews that will be a first of its kind for Selma, said Miller.

Miller partnered with his accountant, Josie Grijalva and her husband, Mark, to develop a Chicken Shack in Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis in the former Dickey’s Barbecue Pit near Sierra Vista Cinemas.

His accountant had wanted to open a location for a while, Miller said. “If they’re wanting to get in, you know there’s something there.”

The lease discussions on the 3,100 square-foot space in Clovis will finalize this week. Fans may be able to see the Chicken Shack open for business in the next two to three months. It will have plenty of dine-in space once the state allows dining to return, said Miller.

Miller wants to cover the four corners of the Fresno-Clovis area. He says the population can handle it.

“There’s a lot of people that aren’t getting to the Chicken Shack because of the distance,” said Miller. He’s currently trying to find a spot in West Fresno, near Highway 99.

The location in Hanford — the first in the Valley — was actually the fourth store with the Chicken Shack brand. It began in Henderson, Nevada, and soon expanded to Klamath Falls, Oregon, with Miller’s mother at the helm there.

Chicken Shack is not a franchise, however. The chain operates on a licensing model, allowing owners to use the brand without some of the restrictions of a franchise. Miller is also working with licensees to open locations in Tulare and Madera, as well as Merced.

“There’s a lot of interest right now and a lot of people are looking to get on board,” said Miller.

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