Chix Nashville Hot Chicken is a New Hot Spot

By: 
Jasmine Contreras

It has been a month since Chix Nashville Hot Chicken opened at 2211 Palo Verde Ave. The owner of the establishment, Ruben Leon, was excited to bring this restaurant to the city because he wanted to introduce his version of Nashville hot chicken to the area.

Leon has always worked in restaurants from a very young age and realized his love for it. “I worked in restaurants my whole life. I first started at an IHOP when I was 12,” Leon said. “I washed dishes, I prepped, I cooked, I was a cashier, I was a waiter and then I was the manager.”

With his experience Leon moved on to buying and becoming the owner of another eatery in Long Beach, called the Deli News Pizza, in 2017. Even though he was already managing this location, his curiosity about creating a Nashville hot chicken sandwich continued to cross his mind.

Leon began to create and perfect a recipe and before he even knew that Chix existed.

“I thought to myself I think I can make a really good sandwich and then (at Deli News) we just started testing and testing and before you know it I had a recipe and we put it together and here we are,” Leon said.

Being the first location in Long Beach, it was important for Leon to have Chix because he wanted to bring a more affordable option for people in the community. “I felt like there was something missing there. There are other locations, but in my opinion, they are a little pricier,” Leon said.

Also, Leon saw how there were not a lot of chicken restaurants around the area and decided to take the opportunity when he saw the location was available. He appreciated how Chix and Deli News Pizza were close to each other so he would be able to manage both easily.

When it comes to the food that is offered at Chix, Leon is confident that his menu stands out compared to other locations.

There are a variety of food options such as Nashville hot chicken sandwiches, quesadillas, burritos, loaded fries, popcorn chicken, breaded wings and more. Leon mentioned the most popular item among his customers is the chicken strip combo with the chicken sandwich combo coming in second.

However, Leon said what makes his restaurant different compared to others is his side menu.

“There are other locations that make good food as well. I knew I could make the food a little better, not just the sandwich but my sides,” Leon said. “I am very confident that my sides are better than any other place.”

The sides include baked mac and cheese, coleslaw, southern beans and french fries. Chix also offers candied yams as a side which Leon pointed out was something new for a chicken restaurant. “One item that we have that I haven’t seen anywhere else is candied yams,” Leon said.

Compared to chain restaurants, Leon wanted to bring as much flavor to his products as he can. Bringing spice into the food was important to Leon. “Ours has a flavor, it has a soul to it,” Leon said.

Being a new business, Leon has recognized the attraction Chix has received from customers. Leon explained the restaurant is getting good reviews and many happy customers enjoy the food.

Leon is looking forward to the future of Chix Nashville Hot Chicken. He plans to open a second location within a year and has high hopes it will become as popular as other well-known restaurants.

“Most likely it [second location] will either be in Orange County or Riverside County,” Leon said. “It will have a drive-through and it is going to be more in the line of In-N-Out in terms of the professionalism, the size and just how easy it is. My goal is to be the In-N-Out of chicken.”

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