Saturday, September 24 2022

When a polite young employee asks you what level of spice you want for your meal’s sauce, it’s a bit strange to answer “medium”.

But it’s all part of the shtick at a newly opened restaurant in northeast Fresno.

Her name? Fluckers Nashville Hot Chicken.

The restaurant is on the southwest corner of Cedar and Shepherd avenues in the same mall as Vons.

This is a fast and casual hot chicken restaurant in Nashville, with seven dishes on the menu, all featuring a variation of seasoned breaded chicken tenders.

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Sauce is applied to Nashville Tenders with fries at Fluckers Nashville Hot Chicken in Fresno on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. The new chicken tender restaurant recently moved into the former 559 Taqueria at Shepherd and Cedar Avenues. CRAIG KOHLRUSS [email protected]

Fluckers

So this name? It’s not a franchise, but the creation of local Jack Garayan and his wife Mariana.

“We were just trying to come up with a really smart name,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to do something out of the ordinary. It was just my wife and I were talking about it, and we just came up with the name.

They were throwing around words like cluck, cluckers and pluck, and when one of them said “fluckers” they decided to run with it.

Now they know it’s one letter away from a swear word. They didn’t plan to use an almost expletive word, he said, but they certainly run with it.

The sign outside the restaurant flashes “opens”. The sauces you choose are labeled “flucking mild” and the hottest one is “you’re flucked”.

A large wall is dedicated to allow customers to write their own touch on the name in marker on the wall. They ask them not to use profanity, but puns like “Let’s go” are common.

And for an extra kick of whimsy, the walls are covered with murals from great films, the characters replaced by chicken heads. Local artist Sal Navarro painted them.

A scene from the movie “My stepfather, my parents and meis recreated (as “Meet the Fluckers”, of course). Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller and all the other actors are painted with chicken heads.

Garayan said he only had one negative reaction.

“I had an elderly lady who came into the rest. She said, ‘I am very offended by your name,’” he recalled. “I told him, we’re not trying to be offensive to anyone, but I’m sure you won’t forget that name.”

She laughed and walked away.

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Customers are encouraged to write their own puns using the restaurant’s name on the wall of Fluckers Nashville Hot Chicken in Fresno on Wednesday, April 13, 2022. The chicken offering recently opened in the former 559 Taqueria on Cedar and Shepherd Avenues. CRAIG KOHLRUSS [email protected]

The menu

The restaurant focuses on hot Nashville chicken. It’s the latest in a string of chicken restaurants to open in Fresno, including angry chickRaise the cane and spicy birds.

Garayan purchased the business, which was once a location of 559 Taqueria which opened about a year ago with fun neon signs on the walls. He also owns the city’s Deals & Stealz stores and has spent years in the restaurant industry.

The menu items are all combos with a twist of chicken fillets. The most popular: A tender served with another tender on a brioche bun with fries, coleslaw, pickles and a drizzle of “fluck sauce”.

There’s also chicken and waffles, tacos and taquitos made with Nashville Tenders. Sides include mac and cheese (topped with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos if desired).

Chicken is shipped daily and never frozen.

Meals range from $12.69 to $13.39. The restaurant will soon be on DoorDash.

Details: Fluckers is at 8963 N. Cedar Ave., #101. Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday. 559-900-4019.

This story was originally published April 14, 2022 12:34 p.m.

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Bethany Clough covers restaurants and retail for The Fresno Bee. A journalist for 20 years, she now works to answer readers’ questions about business openings, closings and other economic news. She has a journalism degree from Syracuse University and her last name is pronounced Cluff.

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