Franchisee, Daniel Bryant, who recently opened a Gus’s location in Kansas City, Missouri., and also owns one in Little Rock, plans to open the first North Texas Gus’s in a matter of weeks on Magnolia.
Bryant signed the lease on a 3,720-square-foot space at 1065 W. Magnolia Ave. over a year ago, leaving local Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken lovers a little peckish in the interim.
“It has certainly taken longer than we expected it to,” said Wendy McCrory, Franchisor for Gus’s Fried Chicken, “But we are looking to open on December 17 or 18. We have one last piece of the puzzle to ensure this happens, but it all looks to be a go.”
Fort Worth based architecture firm 97w was tapped to design the space.
“The design that the client wanted was to be nostalgic and familiar,” says Jason Eggenburger. Partner at 97w. “Finishes include 70’s wood wall paneling, found roof tin, old 80’s brass style ceiling fans, and white subway tile. There is a very Southern feel to it, but as if the finishes were always there.”
The new Fort Worth Gus’s will be the second in Texas. They opened one in Austin in 2014, and have another planned to open in Houston.
Spicy fried chicken is nothing new, in fact Maggie and Napoleon “Na” Vanderbilt began serving theirs in Mason, Tennessee, over 60 years ago. The couple opened the doors to what was then called “Maggie’s Short Orders” on Highway 70 in 1973. The famous chicken shack still stands where “Na” built it by hand. His only son, Vernon “Gus” Bonner, inherited the recipe and changed the name to Gus’s World Famous Hot and Spicy Fried Chicken in 1984.
Since then, expansion has made the family recipe an iconic brand. Wendy McCrory, Gus’s franchisor, fell in love with the chicken and opened the ever-popular downtown Memphis location in November of 2001 (if you have trouble finding it, just look for the line). Since then McCrory has grown the business dramatically. There are currently 17 Gus’s locations spanning 10 states, all featuring the same “World Famous” recipe.
Fresh and never frozen chicken gets the Gus’s treatment with a crispy batter coating, and its signature spices, then each piece is fried in peanut oil, leaving them with that distinctive reddish-hue, and your lips stinging ever so slightly. Every meal comes with lightly sweet beans and cole slaw and a slice of white bread.