Dave’s Hot Chicken is coming to central Jersey

Five years ago, Dave’s Hot Chicken was selling sliders and tenders in a Los Angeles parking lot.

Today, the company is the fastest growing restaurant chain in America, having sold the rights to approximately 600 franchises in the United States and Canada. By next year, Dave’s could open New Jersey’s first restaurants in Somerset, Middlesex, Monmouth and Mercer counties.

Noraiz Khan and his brother Kashif Khan, who are based in East Brunswick and own 10 Moe’s Southwest Grills in New Jersey and New York, have purchased the rights to open nine Dave’s Hot Chicken restaurants. The Khans are scouting locations and hope to open the first stores in six to nine months.

“I think people can anticipate a new flavor that they haven’t experienced yet,” Noraiz said. “The flavor palate of this chicken fillet is so juicy and crunchy at the same time.”

Customers will be able to choose their spice level from “harvester” to “no spice”. Sides to go with tenders or sliders include mac and cheese, kale salad, or cheese fries.

Noraiz had been following the Dave’s Hot Chicken hype on Instagram when his brother and his business partner suggested they consider becoming franchisees. They hopped on a flight to Chicago, ate the chicken three times within hours, flew back and were hooked.

“The food was amazing,” Noraiz said. “It was something I thought we were missing in Jersey.”

The interior of a Dave's Hot Chicken restaurant.

The Khans were also drawn to the ambiance of Dave’s Hot Chicken stores. The restaurants have colorful and modern interiors, and each has its own unique look and design.

Arman Oganesyan and his best friend, chef Dave Kopushyan, along with brothers Tommy and Gary Rubenyan, launched Dave’s Hot Chicken in 2017 as a pop-up. They opened the first physical restaurant in East Hollywood.

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The team struck a deal with Wetzel’s Pretzels co-founder and former CEO Bill Phelps, as well as film producer John Davis, to begin franchising the concept in 2019.

There are now 60 quick service restaurants with another 75 restaurants expected to open this year.

The interior of a Dave's Hot Chicken restaurant.

Dave’s was named America’s Fastest Growing Restaurant Chain by Restaurant Business and Technomic in 2022, and was listed as one of Fast Casual’s Top Five Hottest Brands on its annual list of Movers & Shakers Of the industry.

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Other investors in the brand include multi-platinum Canadian rapper Drake, former California first lady Maria Shriver, Red Sox owner Tom Werner, actor Samuel L. Jackson and “Good Morning America” ​​anchor. and retired NFL player Michael Strahan.

Jenna Intersimone.

Jenna Intersimone has been a staff member of the USA Today Network New Jersey since 2014, having become a blogger-turned-journalist after founding her award-winning travel blog. To get unlimited access to her food, drink and fun stories, please subscribe or activate your digital account today. Contact: [email protected] or @JIntersimone.

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