NICEVILLE — A popular chicken franchise is planning its debut in Niceville.
Zaxby's Chicken Fingers and Buffalo Wings, according to the franchise website, is "coming soon" to 1160 John Sims Parkway E. Steve Hay, owner of the new eatery, said his goal is for the Zaxby's to open July 22.
"I'm so excited," Hay said about the new opening. "I think the people of Niceville are going to be tickled to death."
Hay, the owner of the Zaxby's in Fort Walton Beach and Crestview, said the foundation for the new restaurant has already been placed. Pat Byrne, president of Valparaiso Realty who owns the land, said he believes the franchise will be the perfect fit for the continuing revitalization of the Oak Creek Shopping Center.
"We have an old 1980s shopping center that had a need for a facelift," Byrne said. "We have put a lot of resources into re-purposing the center. This will advance the refurbishment into a 2019 shopping center."
The fast-food restaurant is known for its assortment of chicken strips, wings, salads and sandwiches.
Listed on the "popular menu" are the Chicken Finger Plate, Traditional Wings & Things, Boneless Wings & Things and the Big Zax Snak Meal. Other items on the menu include sandwiches like the Zaxville Hot Filet Sandwich and Honey Butter and Bacon Fillet Sandwich.
There are also the house, cobb, blue and Caesar "Zalads." On the "Zappetizers" menu are onion rings, fried white cheddar bites, spicy fried mushrooms and tater chips.
"Our salads are phenomenal and that's what people are excited about," Hay said. "Each month we try to come up with a different twist to it."
Hay said there is a possibility for a Destin Zaxby's location too, though no plans have been solidified.
"We're an Okaloosa County company, so the store in Niceville just fit," he said. "Destin is definitely a possibility."