North Carolina-based fried chicken fast food chain Bojangles could be on its way to Austin, according to a report from the Austin Business Journal, but it would be up against some steep competition.
The chain announced plans to open up 50 locations across Texas, five of which will target the North Austin area, with the rest spreading across Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. The company said it is looking at locations in Cedar Park, Leander, Round Rock, Pflugerville and Georgetown.
Though Bojangles didn’t disclose any timeline for the opening, the company has plans to expand with more than 100 Texas restaurants in the next seven to 10 years.
Aside from well-known chains like Zaxby’s and Raising Cane’s, Austin already has a good share of homegrown fried chicken restaurants. Here are some of the chicken eateries Bojangles will be up against.
Tumble22 Chicken Joint, 7211 Burnet Road
The Original Chicken Sandwich at Tumble22 (Isabella Lopes)
Sometimes not straying from tradition is the perfect way to execute a classic, and Tumble22's take on a fried chicken sandwich is exactly that. A crispy chicken breast topped with coleslaw, bread-n-butter pickled and duke's mayo on a buttered bun for an ultimate bite of comfort and Southern tradition. The restaurant offers a small and original-sized sandwich and different levels of hotness from a "wimpy" to "stupid hot" scale.
Spicy Boys, 1701 E. 6th St.
The Hot Gai at Spicy Boys (Isabella Lopes)
If you haven't yet visited Spicy Boys, you're missing out on a unique blend of spices and flavor profiles that will have you wanting more. The food truck offers three different sandwich options: "The OG" with basil ranch and papaya relish, sweet chili honey, scallion and crispy shallots; "The Hot Gai" with pickles, massaman mayonnaise, Thai basil and Swiss cheese; and the "V Spicy Gai" with spicy ranch, spicy marinated cucumber on a chili toasted bun.
Thai Fresh, 909 W. Mary St.
The Chicken Sandwich at Thai Fresh (Isabella Lopes)
Besides offering deliciously curated Thai food with seasonal and local ingredients, Thai Fresh has a chicken sandwich that will fill your taste buds with unique flavors for a mouthwatering bite. Topped with lime chili mayo and spicy pickles, this runner-up for the tastiest chicken sandwich in town is not one that should be overlooked.
Dai Due, 2406 Manor Road
The Chicken Sandwich at Dai Due
Dai Due's fried chicken sandwich is no joke. With crispy, double dredged and fried chicken breast, chile morita mayonnaise and pickled watermelon on a bun toasted in ghee, this chicken sandwich will have you thinking "dang," as you devour the entire thing. Don't let the overwhelming uncertainty of flavors make you think this chicken sandwich isn't a winner, because the delicious crispness of the chicken coincides perfectly with everything else.
Lucy's Fried Chicken, multiple locations
The Chicken Sandwich at Lucy's Fried Chicken (Isabella Lopes)
As we previously stated, there's nothing wrong with tradition if it's perfectly executed. Since Lucy's Fried Chicken is known for its fried chicken, it's no surprise their chicken sandwich, made simply with lettuce, onion, tomato and mayo, is a delicious bite of crispy tradition. If you're wanting to opt for something healthier, try their grilled chicken sandwich. If you're wanting to opt for something less healthy, yet equally as tasty, add cheese.
Bird Bird Biscuit, 2701 Manor Road
The Queen Beak at Bird Bird Biscuit (Isabella Lopes)
Besides providing Austinites with delicious buttermilk biscuits, Bird Bird Biscuit has a variety of chicken sandwiches that are out of this world in crispiness and flavor. The Queen Beak, with spiced and breaded chicken, cayenne black pepper honey and bacon-infused chipotle mayo on a buttermilk biscuit is a prime example of what the local joint has to offer. The two other fried chicken sandwich options include the "Firebird," with spiced chicken breast, dill mayo, spicy-sweet pickles and cilantro, and the "Theodore" with spiced chicken breast, bacon, bbq sauce and cheddar cheese.
Little Ola's Biscuits (Olamaie), 1610 San Antonio St.
The Fried Chicken Biscuit at Little Ola's Biscuits (Isabella Lopes)
A little sister to Austin's Southern food spot Olamaie,Little Ola's Biscuits features the beloved flaky biscuits in chicken sandwich form to provide you with an ultimate food craze. The traditional fried chicken sandwich, with Texas honey on a flaky biscuit is the perfect amount of sweet, savory and crispy to indulge all your taste buds. Little Ola's Biscuits also offers a spicy fried chicken biscuit, with spicy cayenne chili-garlic oil and benne seeds on a flaky biscuit.
Project Pollo, 1401 Rosewood Ave.
The Spicy Project at Project Pollo
Plant-based food lovers, Project Pollo is perfect for you. The menu offers four different crispy plant-based chicken sandwiches: the "Original Project" topped with aioli and dill pickles; the "Deluxe," with bacon, lettuce, tomato and smoked Gouda cheese; the "Spicy Project," with spicy garlic buffalo sauce, ranch and a pickled jalapeno; and the "Pico de Pollo," with credo cashew queso and fresh pico de gallo. Whether you're in need of a traditional-tasting chicken sandwich or a more elaborate take on the dish, Project Pollo has you covered.
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Enjoy the deep roots of Texas music with weekly live performances at Lone Star Court. Located at The Domain, there’s always a tune for you to tap your foot to at the retro-inspired property. Every Thursday through Saturday, locals and travelers alike can enjoy live performances and specialty cocktails at the Water Trough. This week you can catch Reagan Quinn, Chris Max, and Trio Velazquez.
7-9 p.m. Thursday, 8-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday | 📍Lone Star Court, 10901 Domain Dr.
Actor, comedian, writer and podcaster Erik Griffin is bringing a little bit of LA’s Comedy Store scene to Austin with four shows at The Creek and the Cave. Tickets start at $25
7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday | 📍The Creek and The Cave, 611 E 7th St.
Join Austin Pets Alive! for a furry, fluffy, free cat adoption event at Domain NORTHSIDE across from Flower Child. Cats and kittens of all ages will be available for free adoption, already spayed and neutered, vaccinated and microchipped.
10-3 p.m. Saturday | 📍 Domain NORTHSIDE , 11700 Rock Rose Ave.
Celebrating the work of Miyazaki Hayao during its Summer Classic series, The Paramount has declared July 16 “Studio Ghibli Day” and is celebrating with a screening of the 2004 film “Howl’s Moving Castle,” dubbed in English. Tickets start at $11 each.
Starting at 2 p.m. Saturday | 📍 The Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave.
Grab a brew and let your inner witch loose at the Austin Witches Market, this time held at Buzz Mill. Come looking for crystals, tarot cards, witchy jewelry, sage bundles, pendants, art and skin care from spooky Austin makers.
7-11 p.m. Saturday | 📍 Buzz Mill, 1505 Town Creek Dr.
Whether you’re a beginner at yoga or a certified yogi, all are welcome to join for goat yoga and drinks at Trudy’s Del Mar. Enjoy lots of baby goats bouncing around, “helping” with poses and looking for cuddles. Tickets start at $35 each, which includes two drinks at Trudy’s.
9-10 a.m. Sunday | 📍 Trudy’s Del Mar, 1600 S Congress Ave.
The annual Colombian Fest is returning for the third time to bring the community together for live music, comfort food, dancers, shopping and arts and crafts to celebrate Colombian Independence Day. Tickets start at $15.
12-8 p.m. Sunday | 📍 Round Rock Multipurpose Complex, 2001 North Kenney Fort Blvd.
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As Austin grapples with sky-high rents, even tech companies are seeing hefty costs for their dwellings.
A new report by commercial real estate and investment firm CBRE shows Austin is among only a handful of markets with more than 20% office rent growth from the first quarter of 2020 to the fourth quarter of 2021.
The average office rent per square foot is $45.11, which follows just behind the tech hubs of Manhattan and the San Francisco Bay Area. Except those places made the report’s top five rank for tech talent while Austin just missed the cutoff at No. 6.
With the costs of setting up camp or expanding in Austin, will tech companies still see the capital city as worthy of an investment especially as a possible recession looms?
“Tech talent and the broader technology industry have time and again proven resilient amid economic cycles,” said Colin Yasukochi, Executive Director of CBRE’s Tech Insights Center.
Still, employee wages are the largest cost for tech companies, behind office rent, and Austin workers don’t come cheap. On average, the annual salary of tech workers here is $150,026.
But the report notes that Austin’s talent is highly desirable and it’s growing at a rapid pace. We have one of the highest concentrations of top-quality software engineering talent and the tech labor force saw a 21% growth rate.
And selling that talent on Austin might be an easier path than having them work and live on the coasts. Especially for recent grads and entry-level workers, the cost of living can play a major role in the path they take. In Austin, the rent-to-tech wage ratio is 19% compared to 32% in the New York metro and nearly 24% in the Bay Area.
So while Austin’s talent pool may not be ranked on the same level as others just yet, the promise workers show now and in the coming years could be what’s driving giants like Meta and Google to set up shop downtown. On top of that, North Austin is also seeing a breadth of office space. Late last year, Amazon announced an expansion at the Domain and plans to add 2,000 more corporate and tech jobs. And earlier this week, news broke that PayPal would be a tenant at a new Domain tower.
As Austin’s tech scene continues to elevate its reputation, don’t be surprised by techies making the Domain and downtown their home rather than sprawling across the city.
“Many (companies) understand the benefits of tech clustering and often place a higher value on specific submarkets and even specific streets convenient to tech talent,” the report says.
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