Chunky's adding more locations
Published: Friday, January 9, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 10:32 p.m.
Chunky's Chicken may not have opened to the fanfare of the Wal-Mart Supercenter, but owner Jamal Shaer said business has been great at the east Gainesville drive-through that will have been open a year come March.
Now Shaer is making plans to open a takeout location on Archer Road near Shands in March or April and hopes to open a couple more locations on the outskirts of Gainesville.
He is especially interested in finding small abandoned restaurant buildings. He said he already made an unsuccessful attempt at landing the closed Sonic properties.
Chunky's offers crispy buffalo-style chicken wings and seafood platters. The takeout location will also have wraps and gyros.
Although east Gainesville hasn't lured many new businesses, Shaer said there was a lot of anticipation about what would go in the 30-year-old former In 'N Out drive-through, calling the location a famous landmark. Several businesses were interested in the location before he got it, including Chick-Fil-A.
Just south of a six-light intersection on Hawthorne Road off E. University Avenue, Shaer said Chunky's gets a lot of people traveling to Hawthorne or Palatka, and have had a lot of business from employees at the Sheriff's Office, Shands, the University of Florida and the fire department.
"A lot of people underestimate the business that is going on in east Gainesville, but there are a lot of opportunities here," he said.
Shaer owns a restaurant and several convenience stores in the Homestead and Miami areas, but said South Florida real estate was getting too expensive.
"I figured to make a move where things are upward and running and moving, and most investments are heading up this way because of the price and value with regard to real estate," he said.
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