Houston's legendary Frenchy's Chicken opens sizzling new flagship locale in Third Ward
Houston fried chicken institution Frenchy’s Chicken has opened its new flagship location in the heart of the Third Ward. Diners can now order their Campus combos and five wing boxes at at 3602 Scott St.
Opening the new location completes a process that began in late 2018 when the restaurant left its original location at 3919 Scott St. to make way for the expansion of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church. Since then, it has occupied a temporary location at 4646 Scott St., but those days have come to an end.
The new location is a 5,500-square-foot, two-story restaurant with seating for approximately 60 people, two drive-thru lanes, and a walk-up window to facilitate pickup orders. A New Orleans-inspired design nods to founder Percy “Frenchy” Creuzot, who began serving his Creole fried chicken and Louisiana-inspired sides in 1969.
“It took over two years to build the store,” Frenchy’s CEO Ernest Hunter II tells CultureMap. “In the groundbreaking pictures, we’re all wearing masks. We were in the depths of COVID when we broke ground.”
While Frenchy’s is known for its line — cars waiting for drive-thru at the recently-closed location frequently spilled out onto Scott St. — Hunter notes that the new location has been optimized to move people through quickly. Eight fryers ensure a steady stream of hot chicken, and three registers allow dine-in customers to be processed quickly.
“I want the line to be consistently moving forwards. i think when people see the line moving, they’re more likely to get in the line,” he says. “What we’re really working hard on is processes inside the store to make sure we’re turning a car every 20 to 30 seconds.”
One other way the restaurant hopes to speed transaction times is by going cashless. Hunter notes that diners can pay with a credit or debit card, prepaid card, or mobile payment platforms from Apple, Google, or Samsung. He recognizes the decision could be controversial but says he didn’t undertake it lightly. Going cashless not only expedites service, but it increases employee safety and removes all the time people spent counting money in cash drawers.
“As I laid out the pros and cons, prioritizing the safety of my team, I think we made the right decision,” Hunter says. “We’ve had a lot of people come through the line and say, ‘this is great. You’re moving fast. You’re focused on getting us quality food.’”
Two weeks in, Hunter says things are going well. Not only is the restaurant serving both dine-in and to-go customers, they’ve fulfilled large catering orders for both Texas Southern University and the University of Houston.
“I think the community appreciates the fact that Frenchy’s has had a commitment to the community,” he says. “We’re very involved, and I think the community is showing us they appreciate it.”