Among fried chicken fans, many a tear was shed upon the December 2017 closure of Fat Chicken, the chicken restaurant at Trinity Groves from chef DJ Quintanilla and uber-manager Linda Mazzei. But the duo have found a new place to roost.
Fat Chicken is back: The restaurant will go into what was previously Andy's Pizza at 3045 N. Goliad St. in Rockwall, and will re-open at the end of March.
"It's going to be Fat Chicken but with a fast-casual format, where you order at the counter and we bring everything to you," Mazzei says. "We'll have chicken and a few comfort food dishes and craft beer and wine."
The couple was dealt a blow when Trinity Groves decided in late December that the restaurant needed to go; December 31 was their final night. Fat Chicken had been their second concept at the West Dallas incubator; they started out as an American restaurant called Resto Gastro Bistro.
Undaunted by the closure, Mazzei immediately began shopping for a new location.
"We'd had so many customers from Rockwall who asked if we'd open a Fat Chicken in their area," she says. "Lo and behold, I found out that Andy's Pizza in Rockwall was for sale."
Andy's was a family-owned spot doing New York-style pizza, pastas, and desserts. But after 20 years, the prior owner was worn out, and it didn't help that a branch of the Marco's pizza chain recently opened a few blocks away.
Mazzei says that it's a great location, embedded in a residential neighborhood, and right on the corner in a small center, with a beautiful patio, to boot.
"Right across the street is a development with $300,000 to $1 million-dollar homes, and behind us is another big community with a golf course," she says.
The menu will be similar to what they were doing at Trinity Groves, with a few additions and subtractions.
"Some things we were doing won't be on the menu, like the lobster corn dog," Mazzei says. "But we'll add items like meat loaf and short rib, because there are a lot of families in the area."
And to accommodate those customers, they'll also ramp up their to-go service and will do delivery, as well. "The menu will be pretty much the same, just tweaking a few things for the neighborhood," she says.