Media savvy former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal has his own ideas about what to serve at his future Big Chicken restaurant on the eastside, but he also hopes his fans will help by adding their input to the menu.
Big Chicken will takeover the 2,811-square-foot former Origin India space at the Paradise Esplanade, located across Paradise Road from the Hard Rock Hotel.
Expected to open by the end of the year, part of preparation will include the “Big Chicken Shaq” reality show, an eight-episode Facebook Watch series airing this fall.
O’Neal explained to Bleacher Report, once the episodes air, fans will be able to interact about the “kind of dishes they like, decor, probably ask about designs,” plus “we’re going to make it like a big contest. We’ll be flying people in, inviting people to taste tests, stuff like that.”
Recently filming in Nashville, O’Neal visited three local restaurants, Party Fowl, Prince’s Hot Chicken and Bartaco, all specialists in serving hot chicken.
O’Neal also let slip to USA Today’s Alysha Tsuji he considers himself no slouch in the kitchen, playfully dubbing himself chef “Shaq-ardee” and plans for the Las Vegas location to be a starting point for expansions to Los Angeles and Atlanta.
Justifying the location, O’Neal noted, “anybody can put chicken right next to Caesar’s Palace and get a lot of eyes, but we want to get ours the hard way — the real way. We want people to go off the strip to get something to eat.”
And for his personal preference, the entrepreneur revealed:
“I like a lot of fried chicken and I like a lot of baked chicken. I like the dark meat chicken, I like the chicken tenders. I come up with my own special sauces for the house. I like a lot of bread. Garlic bread, french bread. I like Shaq-aroni and cheese.”
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