Shaq's Big Chicken restaurant to open Schaumburg site after forthcoming Rosemont location
NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal's Big Chicken restaurant chain still plans to open its first Illinois location in Rosemont this June, with a second soon to follow in Schaumburg.
Schaumburg trustees Tuesday approved a parking variation that was the only thing that stood in the way of the restaurant being an automatically permitted use for an 1,800-square-foot strip mall space at 1245 N. Roselle Road at the Golf Road intersection.
The variation reduced the required number of parking spaces for a restaurant of its size from 43 to the 22 available.
Otherwise, the size of the restaurant makes it permitted by right under Schaumburg's zoning code. It also lies within a relatively new Golf Road corridor overlay district where all restaurants without drive-through facilities are permitted by right.
The owners of the new franchise expressed confidence to the village that parking won't be an issue for the quick-serve lunch and dinner restaurant. It will have seating for 20 customers but focus on catering and takeout.
The expanding, 5-year-old restaurant chain features a menu that combines O'Neal's home-cooked childhood favorites with the trending flavors of today. It includes crispy chicken sandwiches and tenders, Cheez-It-crusted mac n' cheese, and handcrafted ice cream shakes.
Franchise co-owner Vishal Patel said no opening date is currently estimated in Schaumburg, but the Rosemont site will definitely open first.
The Rosemont location at 9421 W. Higgins Road was announced a little more than a year ago, but construction of its building was only recently completed.
Interior build out of the 2,610-square-foot eatery is still to come, with an opening planned for early June.
On Monday, Rosemont's village board agreed to increase its contribution for tenant build out costs to $450,000, in part to help pay for a life-size statue of O'Neal that will be placed in front of the restaurant.
In exchange, Big Chicken's owners agreed to a new percentage rent provision in the 10-year lease deal for the village-owned building, whereby the restaurant will pay more if sales are good.
Patel said a similar statue hasn't been contemplated for Schaumburg due to the smaller space available.
He added that while O'Neal has made a few appearances at the Big Chicken restaurants, they haven't necessarily been for grand openings due to his own busy schedule.
Daily Herald staff writer Christopher Placek contributed to this report.