Bojangles’ fried chicken to make splash in Columbus with up to four restaurants

Columbus will soon add yet another flavor of fried chicken to its menu, with Bojangles’ preparing to open a restaurant on Schomburg Road in north Columbus.

It’s only the first of what will be three or four altogether in the local market for the Charlotte, N.C.-based chain known for its fried chicken, biscuits, sandwiches and an assortment of side orders.

“We’re working on multiple locations right now,” Pete Hart, an associate broker and co-owner of Jordan Hart Commercial Services in Columbus, said Tuesday. “We’ve got strategic locations, or market areas, and we’ve identified properties within those areas and we’re trying to bring it all together.”

Site work is now under way on the Schomburg Road location, which will front the shopping center that is anchored by a Publix supermarket. It will possibly be open by April, said Hart, who noted his company already has had a flurry of calls asking about the new Bojangles’ outlet.

Hart said his company currently is seeing a lot of interest from restaurants. Jordan Hart also negotiated the deal for the Jim Bob’s Chicken Fingers restaurant that is wrapping up construction on Whittlesey Boulevard, fronting Hobby Lobby at Columbus Park Crossing.

“It should be getting close (to opening), probably in January or early February,” he said.

Bojangles’ could not be reached for comment Tuesday. The company was founded in 1977 and has grown to about 525 locations in 10 states and the District of Columbia, with a couple of international outlets, according to its web site.

The site touts the restaurant chain’s “made-from-scratch buttermilk biscuits; specially seasoned, never frozen fried chicken; Legendary Iced Tea, steeped the old-fashioned way; and a variety of flavorful fixins” that include dirty rice and Cajun pintos. It serves breakfast all day.

The debut of Jim Bob’s and Bojangles’ in the market follows the recent additions of two other restaurant chains — Wingstop and The Egg & I — which opened within the last month on Weems Road, near the intersection of Whittlesey Boulevard and Columbus Park Crossing.

For Bojangles’, the restaurant review organization Zagat recently ranked it in the top five restaurants in the nation in the large chain category.