Chicken restaurant to open in Winchester

Crews work on the new Zaxby's restaurant at 1810 S. Loudoun St. in Winchester. The restaurant is expected to open in February. Nathan Budryk/Daily

Zaxby’s, a Georgia-based chicken restaurant, will be moving into Winchester. Kevin Schweiker, the restaurant’s franchisee, is going into business with his brother and father to provide northern Virginians with an extensive menu of chicken meals.

The date of the restaurant’s opening has yet to be determined, but Schweiker said he is confident it will be sometime in February.

“We don’t have an exact date at the moment,” he said. “At this time of year, you’ve got to take weather into account. Our construction team is moving pretty quickly. I think we started site work in September but there was quite a bit of site work related to our piece of land.”

The location, at 1810 S. Loudoun St. at the intersection with Jubal Early Drive, is under construction and will be the northernmost Zaxby’s in Virginia. There is one in Richmond. Schweiker explained why he and his partners decided on Winchester.

“My brother has lived in Winchester the last 12 or so years,” he said. “That’s really what brought us to this area because he’s known it so well. It’s a great community and it seems like there is demand for good food served with quick speed of service. I tend to think Zaxby’s would do great anywhere but I think that Winchester will really embrace it. “

Schweiker said that Zaxby’s is unique. He said quality and atmosphere set it apart from other chicken chains and the slew of bone-in fried chicken restaurants that blanket most of the country.

“We don’t really call ourselves fast food,” he said. “We’re in the fast casual segment. I compare us to Panera. Our main menu items are chicken-focused but it’s all made-to-order, high quality meals that are prepared very quickly. I don’t think there’s really anything like it.”

Zaxby’s has more than 800 locations in 18 states throughout the United States, most of which are in the southern part of the country. Virginia is home to 16 restaurants. The Loudoun Street location will make it No. 17 in the state, and a Charlottesville operation is also in the works. The restaurant menu offers various chicken tender options as well as wings and salads.

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com