It’s the end of the road for Exeter’s Giraffe restaurant as a funky new chicken brand prepares to set up shop in the glass fronted vault.

US-born chicken brand Slim Chickens will be opening at the Princesshay premises where failed suicide bomber Nicky Reilly turned Islamic radical Mohammed Saeed Alim attempted to blow up the building.

His actions way back in 2008 sparked a city centre wide lockdown.

Reilly was imprisoned a year later and was found dead in a police cell in Manchester four years ago.

Giraffe was saved from closure come 2019 after escaping plans by its parent company to slash around a third of venues, as reported by DevonLive.

But now it’s finally had its day and Slim Chickens is ready to hatch and wow Exeter diners.

It will the tenth of its kind to open in the UK – and is the first of five planned for the South West.

Nicky Reilly (centre) is driven away from Westminster Magistrates’ Court, London

The opening plans were confirmed recently after a deal was signed between franchise partner Boparan Restaurant Group and local franchisee KK Restaurants SW.

KK Restaurants SW is run by Simon Wright and his son Noah who acts as operations manager. Together they have experience in running Pizza Hut and Costa Coffee outlets.

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Noah, who lives in Devon, said: “We’ve been trying to get this deal for quite a while and exchanged on Monday.

“We’re hoping to be open by mid-December to try and get some December trade.

“It’s very exciting times and we want to build on our experience in the food and beverage industry. Hopefully we can make this work.

“Shop fitters are working evenings and weekends to try and get everything ready for the opening.”

Slim Chickens was founded 17 years ago in Arkansas and is renowned for its Southern US hospitality. Diners can expect the brand’s signature buttermilk-marinated, hand-breaded and cooked-to-order premium chicken.

House specialities include crispy tenders alongside a whopping range of 14 dipping sauces in innovative flavours including Slim’s signature sauce, blue cheese, honey BBQ, sriracha garlic and, for those brave enough, the fiery inferno.

“We are pleased to have secured a franchise partner as experienced as KK Restaurants SW,” said Judd Williams, Boparan Restaurant Group franchise director.

“This supports our ambitious growth plans to roll-out the Slim Chickens brand across the UK.”





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