BullChicks is opening Monday at the former WifeSaver location at 503 Highland Ave.
The Augusta restaurant is the first franchise for the BullChicks concept, which originated in Corpus Christi, Texas.
BullChicks serves 20 kinds of burgers, wraps, salads, sandwiches and wings for lunch and dinner. It offers drive-thru, dine-in and carry-out service.
The local franchise is owned by Augusta residents Escubar Moore and Raymond Boyette. The 2,000-square-foot restaurant has 18 employees, Moore said.
BullChicks is in the process of opening 20 to 27 additional franchises nationwide, founder Riaz Samji said.
“We’re aiming for more locations here in town,” said Samji, whose business partner, Fred Perrin, was roommates with Moore at Paine College.
When Perrin told Moore about the BullChicks concept, Moore went to Texas for almost a year to learn more.
Moore returned to Augusta and shared his knowledge with Boyette, who previously owned three Speedway Subs restaurants and worked at Waffle House, Pizza Hut and Burger King, he said.
The two decided to go into business together.
Boyette said he signed on without having tried the food; he tasted BullChicks’ food for the first time this week.
Boyette said a shooting at WifeSaver just before its closing didn’t deter them from taking over the location.
“It was an isolated incident,” he said. “From what I understand, it was a situation where they hired a bad element, and the people came after the bad element. I patched the bullet hole, and it didn’t bother me in the least.
“We stand behind this neighborhood and the people that are in it.”
Samji started BullChicks in 2006 as a small, family restaurant in Corpus Christi. There are now four BullChicks in Texas.
Samji said Augusta’s proximity to other markets he is targeting – Atlanta, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida – gave the city more appeal.
BullChicks franchises are available in the Augusta area, Moore said.