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Owners behind Chicken Out restaurant to add second location, in Kirkwood

"The chicken sandwich market is super competitive, and it's been exciting to be able to bring our spin"
Credit: SLBJ
Restaurateurs Charlie Downs, Mike Johnson, and Ben Hillman continue to grow restaurant concepts in St. Louis, including the upcoming expansion of fast casual restaurant, Chicken Out to Kirkwood.

KIRKWOOD, Mo. — After opening their fried chicken sandwich restaurant, Chicken Out, last summer in the Delmar Loop, restaurateurs Charlie Downs, Mike Johnson and Ben Hillman are at it again.

The trio is set to open a second location of the fast-casual eatery at 10463 Manchester Road in Kirkwood, which is part of a long-term growth plan to expand the brand in Missouri and beyond, officials said. They are again partnering with St. Louis-based private equity firm Lewis & Clark Capital on the project.

"We're pumped to be starting this expansion of Chicken Out," Hillman said in a statement. "The chicken sandwich market is super competitive, and it's been exciting to be able to bring our spin. This has been in the making for a while and Mike's chef-driven touch really brings some creativity to the category."

Since opening the Delmar Loop restaurant, Chicken Out has seen success, officials said. The restaurant has provided alternative pickup options, as well as native and third-party delivery services. The Kirkwood location also will feature a drive-thru.

LaRon Richard, who helped open the Delmar Loop space, will transition to general manager at the Kirkwood space when it opens this coming summer.

Chicken Out will be one part of an anchor project to a new retail segment at Manchester and Kirkwood Roads being developed by Nolan Real Estate. Nick Bahn of Stephen F. Bahn Real Estate represents the landlord and tenant on the lease. Kaemmerlen Facility Solutions, which worked on the first Chicken Out location, will be the general contractor for the new space.

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