Bloomfield Hills-based chef/restaurateur Zack Sklar is bringing another casual chicken concept to Detroit this spring. Crain's reports that Sklar and his partners have acquired franchise rights to 60-year-old Memphis icon Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken. Under the umbrella of a new restaurant group, Schmaltz Hospitality, the partners plan to launch a massive expansion with more than 30 locations across Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, Colorado, and Florida.
Schmaltz Hospitality opened its first Gus's franchise in Chicago last November. The 3,000-square-foot Detroit restaurant is slated to break ground next month on the corner of Alexandrine and Third Avenue. The restaurant will serve the company's classic fried chicken recipe, sides, desserts on checked table cloths, as well as cocktails, beer, and wine.
Sklar believes the moderately priced, casual restaurant is a good fit for the area. "No one is building anything for the community that lives in Detroit," he says. "Gus's is a place for everyone because it's so reasonable and the food is so approachable." Gus's is expected to open in late May.
Over the past two years, Sklar's has grown his businesses into a mini-restaurant empire. His first company, Peas & Carrots Hospitality, operates multiple eateries in the Midwest including Social Kitchen & Bar, MEX, Beau's, Bernie's Lunch & Supper in Chicago, and most recently Birmingha restaurants Arthur Avenue and Au Cochon.