Just a year after opening his first Guthrie's Chicken restaurant atop Lookout Mountain, Will Garrett welcomed hungry customers to his newest location on Signal Mountain.
The restaurant, which specializes in chicken tenders and wings, opened July 2 and sold 800 wings in its first two days, Mr. Garrett said.
"People were buying them in great quantities," he said. "We had to overorder just to keep them in."
Earlier this year, Mr. Garrett began looking into opening a Guthrie's for people in the Signal Mountain area. That's when he was introduced to Grady Williams Jr., a Signal Mountain resident also interested in opening a franchise of the restaurant.
Neither man had previous restaurant experience, but both were longtime fans of Guthrie's original golden chicken fingers, they said.
Guthrie's Chicken began in Haleyville, Ala., in 1965 and began franchising in 2005. Today, there are more than 50 locations in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and South Carolina.
The Signal Mountain restaurant in the old CVS Pharmacy building on Taft Highway, is just over 3,000 square feet and can seat more than 40 people. The building includes a separate party room and will eventually have several tables outside, the owners said.
Mr. Garrett declined to state the price tag for the project, but said it is an investment of more than $300,000.
Though the restaurant has been open only a short time, the owners said they already have several regular customers. Mr. Williams said there's even one man who has eaten the food twice a day since the store opened.
After spending 20 years in the aviation industry, Mr. Williams said he's "enjoying every minute" of running the restaurant. Mr. Garrett said although he already had about a year of experience owning the Guthrie's on Lookout Mountain, he learned a lot from opening the new location.
"I was challenged by becoming informed with what it took to do business," he said. "But what I found was that people were hungry for a good restaurant, and that's what I think we provide."