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Lakers icon Shaq is bringing his Big Chicken restaurant to Glendale

Shaq’s Big Chicken restaurant opening in Glendale
Former Lakers star Shaquille O’Neal’s fast-casual chicken restaurant in Las Vegas features chicken sandwiches like the Charles Barkley, named for the basketball superstar. A second location will be opening in Glendale at the end of this year.
(Courtesy of Big Chicken )

Lakers icon Shaquille O’Neal’s fast-casual chicken restaurant — offering sandwiches like the Shaq Daddy and Big Aristotle — is slated to arrive in Glendale by the end of the year.

Big Chicken will be opening in a 2,600-square-foot space across the street from the Americana at Brand, according to Matthew Silverman, a managing partner with the restaurant. It will occupy a street-front retail space at 252 South Brand.

It’s the second location for the restaurant, which opened its first site last year in Las Vegas.

“Southern California, you know I love you,” O’Neal said in a video announcing the news on Instagram.

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“People always ask, ‘When is Big Chicken coming? When is Big Chicken coming?” he said in the video. “Well, I’m here to tell you, at the end of 2019, in Glendale, California: bok bok, bok bok.”

According to Silverman, “SoCal has a special place in O’Neal’s heart,” referring to the former basketball star’s tenure with Lakers.

“He was there for so long. He has a home there.” he added. “It just made sense.”

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The menu will be very similar to the flagship restaurant in Vegas, which is anchored by crispy chicken sandwiches, sporting Shaq-related names.

One sandwich, the M.D.E. — named after O’Neal’s self-designated title “Most Dominant Ever” — features a condiment called “Shaq sauce” and pickles.

Chicken sliders, salads and sides are also offered on the menu.

While the hope is to open before the holiday season, the timeline is still firming up, Silverman said.

A nationwide expansion is in the works, he added.

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