First Look: Chicky Sandos quietly moves from food truck to its first brick-and-mortar restaurant

This article has been updated to correct Chicky Sandos’ new phone number

There’s a hot new food spot on Jefferson Highway. Popular food truck Chicky Sandos, known for its “Nashville-inspired, Louisiana-based” hot chicken, has moved on to its next chapter with its first brick-and-mortar restaurant.

Located in the old Kolache Kitchen attached to the La Rouge Mart, Chicky Sandos has been soft-opened in its new space for a few weeks, welcoming hungry patrons. The new location features a few tables inside and a drive-thru window.

Owner Sameer Abudyak says the new digs have already exposed the brand to new patrons. And even without him sharing the soft opening on social media, eagle-eyed fans took notice of the lit-up open sign and soon lined up. Abudyak says he plans to make a formal opening announcement via Instagram sometime this week. 

As for the food truck, which was typically parked on Airline Highway, Abudyak says it’ll be on a hiatus until he and his staff get comfortable with the new business format at the restaurant. He hopes to take a few employees from the restaurant to work the truck as soon as they are properly trained on the concept and the routine. In the future, the food truck may also be available for catering and events. 

This new chapter for Chicky Sandos has been on Abudyak’s mind for the past year or so, but he says finding a good spot for the eatery that was within budget was challenging. Eventually, he found the space near Bocage, which he says was ideal.

“Whenever this location popped up, we instantly jumped on it just because we love the area,” he says. “We also felt like the space was perfect for what we needed to test out a drive-thru concept and also have a small dine-in (area). We didn’t want to have something too big to keep up with.” 

Abudyak hopes that the physical restaurant, combined with what he’s learned in the three-plus years with the business, will help remedy any problems customers had faced with the food truck, like limited stock and changing hours of operation. 

“Hearing the feedback from our customers and hearing how much they would get sad if we’re closed for a day or if we’re out of stock of this and that definitely helped motivate us,” he says. “(Our customers) coming even after all of our hiccups definitely helped us keep pushing to get bigger and move into a restaurant where we could be more available for them.” 

Mural by Marc Fresh

Inside patrons will find seating options for about 12 diners along with a counter to place orders. Walls are covered in a mural by Marc Fresh depicting a Godzilla-sized chicken breathing fire on Baton Rouge landmarks and a cool, hero chicken attempting to extinguish the flames with a cannon of the eatery’s signature Sando Sauce. 

Outside the muralist also left his mark on the drive-thru with another chicken portrait—this time, surrounded by the restaurant’s name in flaming graffiti letters. 

The menu includes most of the same items from the Chicky Sandos food truck. It’s a simple lineup consisting of chicken tenders, chicken sandwiches and Chicky Fries loaded with cheese, sauce and chicken nuggets. Customers can choose to add spice in levels ranging from Mild to Reaper.

With the new location, Chicky Sandos now offers a kid’s menu, fresh lemonade and other soda options, too. There is also a tailgate menu that allows customers to order sandwiches and tenders in bulk. Abudyak teases that another menu addition could be in the works, too. He also says that customers will be able to order ranch dipping sauce all of the time.

“We used to be limited on how much ranch we could make in the food truck because of space,” he notes. “Now we keep ranch on the menu 100% of the time. From a customer standpoint, I know people are glad that they can get more drink options than just like a canned Sprite and Coke or bottled water.”

Abudyak also appreciates having a full kitchen where he can walk around without feeling cramped. He says having the space to prep more ingredients is a huge perk. Having a restaurant also means essential ingredients, like chicken, can be delivered throughout the week. 

“We kind of have a more set schedule where all our products are able to come more readily compared to us having to go to a store and then hope that they had stock,” he says. 

Though Chicky Sandos now has a drive-thru window, Abudyak says he doesn’t consider his concept to be a traditional fast-food spot. Instead, he calls his made-to-order items a type of “gourmet fast-food” and jokes that patrons should not expect it to be the “fastest drive-thru out there.” 

“For the first couple of orders through the drive-thru, it typically takes maybe a little bit longer than your average drive-thru because we do drop it in (the fryer once you order). Once we get into that rush and we start kind of dropping more chicken, the line starts moving pretty well,” he says. 

Chicky Sandos is now open Monday-Saturday from 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. and on Sundays until 9 p.m. The brick-and-mortar is at 7930 Jefferson Highway. Customers should call the restaurant’s new number for information at 225-256-4808.