Zaxby’s restaurant nears opening in Phenix City

Those living and working in the Ladonia area of Phenix City — and hankerin’ for some Zaxby’s chicken tenders, wings and salads — have only a few more weeks to go before it opens to customers.

The fast casual sit-down and takeout eatery is shooting to make its debut at 3908 U.S. Highway 80 within the next month, Jared Thomas, who will be assistant manager at the new store, said Friday.

“Next week is my last week to work here at Phenix City (the South Railroad Street Zaxby’s) and I’ll go over there to start getting ready for that store. So it will at least be another three weeks,” he said.

Applications are already being accepted for the new Zaxby’s, with those interested needing to apply at the South Railroad location, which is directly in front of the Wal-Mart Supercenter. The new store was originally targeted for opening this week, but construction and equipping it continues. When it opens by mid-October or so, there will be about 40 employees on staff.

“They’re very close to being complete,” Thomas said of construction on the new Zaxby’s. “I believe next week they start moving stuff in as far as equipment. We’ll know more within the next two or three weeks. As of right now, we’re looking at a week from when they finish building it.”

(Seafood restaurant bringing its shrimp, fish and crab claws to Columbus)

(Ruby Tuesday closes ‘underperforming’ Columbus restaurant)

(French bistro restaurant part of new shopping centers coming to north Columbus)

(High-end restaurant on the menu for Veterans Parkway project)

Athens, Ga.-based Zaxby’s has been steadily expanding its presence, with several locations making their appearances locally within the last few years. With the new one, the chain will have seven stores in Columbus and Phenix City, with another one opening last March on Fort Benning’s Main Post.

Zaxby’s will join a burgeoning mix of food options in a Ladonia area that is also adding retail and catering to the population growth along the heavily traveled U.S. Highway 80 corridor.

The chicken specialty restaurant will be adjacent to Waffle House and Wendy’s, both relative newcomers to the area as well. They join several other eateries, including Zeb’s Seafood & Chicken, 13th Street BBQ, Family Garden Chinese, Acapulco’s Mexican Restaurant, McDonald’s, Papa John’s Pizza and Little Caesar’s Pizza.

Founded in the 1990s, Zaxby’s has grown to more than 700 locations in 16 states. Its menu includes chicken fingers, wings, sandwiches and salads, with nine flavors of sauces. Appetizers come in the form of spicy fried mushrooms and fried white cheddar bites. Salads are made at the time they are ordered.