Slim Chickens to occupy SuduWOK building on Broadway

Slim Chickens to open in SuduWOK building

Ashton Gerard/MDN Preferred Restaurant Group will be bringing Slim Chickens to Minot in October. The restaurant will occupy what used to be SuduWOK at 1416 South Broadway.

It has been months since SuduWOK suddenly announced their closure around Christmas time and the building has since sat vacant. Preferred Restaurant Group President Mike Sartwell had his options open as to what the company should venture into next.

Slim Chickens, a fast growing, up and coming fast casual restaurant fell onto Sartwell’s radar and after a discovery day in Fayetteville, Ark., Sartwell knew he needed to bring the chain to Minot and all of North Dakota.

“This is a better chicken option,” Sartwell said. “Slim Chickens focuses on fresh, all natural tenderloins and it’s a high quality product — buttermilk marinated, lightly breaded, everything’s cooked to order and they have 17 signature sauces.”

Slim Chickens will be replacing what used to be SuduWOK at 1416 S. Broadway in Minot.

The concept is something Sartwell thinks Minot and most of North Dakota is lacking. With the brand’s success in Sioux Falls, S.D., making the expansion to North Dakota seemed like a no-brainer.

“We’re in Sioux Falls, we have two restaurants there, so North Dakota makes a lot of sense,” chief operating officer Sam Rothschild explained. “We believe, at least from our category, we don’t really see any real competitors in the market…We think it’s a great fit for us and a logical next-step for the brand.”

Because of Sartwell’s resume with PRG and franchising Taco John’s, Slim Chickens and PRG came to a development agreement to franchise six Slim Chickens restaurants across the state.

The first store is set to open in Minot in October.

“Once we signed our agreement…(Slim Chickens) jumped on this with us right away,” Sartwell said. “We went to work on plans to convert the SuduWOK building into a Slim Chickens and that conversion is going to start here in the next couple of weeks.”

Sartwell has three people already going through training for the Minot Slim Chickens location. The conversion of the location itself will be “fairly easy” according to Sartwell because some of the finishes and equipment will be able to stay from SuduWOK and be used in Slims. It will have a completely different feel according to Sartwell.

“We are still changing a lot out, it’s going to look like a completely different restaurant when people go in there,” Sartwell said. “Slims has kind of got just a different feel to it. The exterior of the building is going to look completely different.”

Rebuilding after closure of SuduWOK, Sartwell feels Slim Chickens appeals to a broader audience and will have a higher appeal to the people of Minot.

“SuduWOK was an Asian, build-your-own rice and noodle bowl concept that just — you know it’s hard to speculate why — but it just didn’t resonate with people in the Minot community to the level that we needed for that to survive,” Sartwell explained.

Slim Chickens was founded in Fayetteville, Ark., in 2003 by childhood friends Tom Gordon and Greg Smart.

“They were always dedicated to quality food and service,” Rothschild said. “They got started with a little bit of seed money from their parents and now they’ve grown it into a very nice multinational company.”

Slims now has over 90 locations in 14 U.S. states and international locations in Kuwait and London.

Slim Chickens offers a dine-in, fast casual experience but also offers online ordering, catering and will have a drive-thru. To learn more about Slim Chickens, visit their website slimchickens.com.