Six months after opening Shaquille’s on the L.A. Live campus across the street from Staples Center, former Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal announced plans to bring another restaurant to Southern California.
Whereas Shaquille’s is an upscale, casual restaurant that specializes in Southern cuisine and service with personality, O’Neal’s fast-casual Big Chicken restaurant focuses on array of sandwich offerings.
The new location is opening across the street from the Americana at Brand retail and dining complex and will occupy a 2,500 square foot, street-front space at 252 South Brand. Targeting an opening date by the end of 2019, Glendale will mark just the second Big Chicken location.
The first is in Las Vegas, which opened to much fanfare as it coincided with an eight-episode reality show on Facebook Watch to follow O’Neal and the process of opening his first ever original restaurant.
SoCal! We’re bringing #BigChickenShaq to @AmericanaBrand in Glendale at the end of 2019! Make sure to follow us here for updates and employment opportunities. #BigChickenShaq 🔥✌🏻🐔 pic.twitter.com/qB66r90PRk
— Big Chicken (@BigChickenShaq) September 10, 2019
The Las Vegas location includes a bar with several televisions, and famous O’Neal quotes are worked into the decor. The Big Chicken menu is anchored by sandwiches but also features chicken strips, sliders, salads and various side dishes. Ice cream sandwiches and speciality milk shakes are available for those with a sweet tooth.
Most of the restaurant’s crispy chicken sandwiches are named after O’Neal, including an “M.D.E” — of course an acronym for “Most Dominant Ever.” It’s one of the more straight-forward offerings as it only includes “Shaq sauce” and pickles.
Also available is the “Shaq Attack,” which calls for the chicken to be topped with pepper jack cheese, jalapeño slaw, avocado and a spicy chipotle BBQ sauce.
The official Big Chicken website lists Carnival Cruise Line Mardi Gras and Carnival Cruise Line Radiance both as opening in 2020.