Jess's Chicken Getting Ready to Roost

Jess's Chicken Getting Ready to Roost
Alan Bubbus, founder of David’s Burgers (Michael Pirnique)

Whispers has an update on Jess’s Chicken, the fast-casual restaurant being brought to central Arkansas by David Alan Bubbus (he goes by Alan), founder of mini-chain David’s Burgers.

Ryan Rooney, creative director of David’s Burgers and Jess’s Chicken, said they hope to open the restaurant at 10907 N. Rodney Parham Road in Little Rock within the next couple of months.

The location is the former site of Black Angus.

The 2,749-SF Jess’s will seat 76 and will feature a three-lane drive-through. (During the COVID-19 pandemic, drive-through business has kept many restaurants solvent.)

“It’s a little longer process than we’re used to, on this particular restaurant,” Rooney said. “It’s a slightly different environment that we’re building in than we’ve been used to.

“Since it’s a new concept for us, we’re constantly looking at ways to improve. We’ve taken advantage of some of the delays that we’ve had due to COVID and other things. We just keep designing.”

The menu will feature Southern fried chicken, chicken nuggets, chicken sandwiches, chicken salads and hand-cut fries.

Asked whether Jess’s might be a prototype for a chain like David’s Burgers, Rooney said, “I believe it could go that way. Right now, we just want to get this one open, take a look at it, see how it does and just focus on this one.”

Rooney noted that Bubbus’ father, David Bubbus Sr., a longtime restaurateur himself, has a history with chicken-focused restaurants as a developer of the Chicken Country franchise.