Probably the most anticipated restaurant construction in town is the new Zaxby's at the corner of Chandler Road and Georgia Avenue adjacent to the Georgia Southern campus.
It is a homecoming of sorts, being constructed a couple of hundred yards from where it all began. The original Zaxby's began right here in Statesboro in the parking lot on the other side of Henry's Barber Shop from where the new restaurant is located. Childhood friends, Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley wanted to create a fun place for folks to come together and enjoy chicken fingers, wings and a glass of beer. Neither of them dreamed then that their little chicken and wings restaurant would turn into an obsession for so many of us with over 600 locations throughout the U.S.
Other than the now famous chicken fingers and wings a small deck on the front of the building seems to be the only homage paid to the original Zaxby's in the construction footprint of the new restaurant. There will be no beer, but there will be two Freestyle Coke machines.
J.J. DeRoy, director of Market Development with ZAX Inc. said, "Our hope is that this new prototype Zaxby's will fit well with the old school folks who remember the original Zaxby's. In addition to reflecting on the past this store will feature a few things that we are testing that will add to the future of Zaxby's"
DeRoy explained that this is the only newly constructed Zaxby's with a deck. The décor is completely different and founder Zach McLeroy is working personally with the design team to make sure this location is special. Ensuring an incredible guest experience is something he remains very involved in with every new Zaxby's that is constructed.
Another design difference will be an open kitchen concept so you can actually see the cooks working to create the food we all love. The drive through also will include two windows for faster service. The location will be the largest Zaxby's in the chain, with a seating capacity of 120. That is 30 seats more than the current design.
ZAX, Inc. selected local builder Chris Merrill of Chris Merrill Construction to build the restaurant. Because it is a prototype, the construction is taking a little longer than normal. They are in the process of hiring staff now, which will include 50 to 60 new hires and hope to begin training in the next few weeks. The grand opening is set for Monday, March 30 with an official ribbon cutting.
The Zaxby's team is planning a week long celebration in honor of their 25th anniversary and their homecoming with this store. The Chicken Finger plates will be priced the same as they were in 1990 for the week of opening, which is $3.69. In addition, the first 100 guests in line on opening day, March 30, will receive a Zaxby's Fanatic Pack with 52 FREE Dealz from Zaxby's. Each card is valid for one week, for the dates specified.
At this time, they are not considering additional late night hours as has been rumored for months. Their hours of operations will be the same as all the other locations.
DeRoy also explained that they are very aware of the need to update the current Zaxby's at 502 Fair Road. They are keeping quiet on whether it will be a completely new restaurant with a much needed revamped double drive through or if it will be remodeled. Once the new location at 1605 Chandler Road is up and running smoothly, we can hope the Fair Road location will become a priority.
The management team for the new store will be transferred from the current location. In just a few short weeks, the newest Zaxby's in the Boro will be open for all of us to enjoy. For some of you it may be an entirely new experience. However, for many of us, it will be a great walk back down memory lane.