Saturday, July 2 2022

A new family-run fried chicken restaurant, Pablo’s Chicken is coming to State College soon, hoping it can meet the needs of downtown chicken lovers.

The new chicken – located at 324 E. Calder Way – will be the third franchise to occupy the space in two years after the King Patacon and Barranquero Cafe closed.

Pablo’s will offer fried chicken and sandwiches for the time being, and will create the rest of the menu pending public reaction and opinions in the future. The sides will include various typical fried chicken accompaniments like fries and coleslaw.

“We spend a lot of time perfecting our fried chicken recipe,” said Bryan Guerero, son of Pablo’s Chicken owner Uriel Guerero. “The great thing about chicken is that it’s so versatile. It can be put in sandwiches, like wings, like so many things.

Bryan said he plans to open the restaurant before February.

Pablo’s is owned by the same family that owns the Bagel Crust franchise at State College, which was the springboard for this new franchise.

“That’s what got us started here at State College initially,” Bryan said.

The family originally came to State College because Bryan’s cousin attended Penn State, and when he visited, they fell in love with the area.

“We just saw the perfect opportunity to open a bagel shop,” Bryan said. “I’ve been to many places around the world, and there’s just something special about the people here.”

The first Bagel Crust opened at 332 E. Calder Way, adjacent to the new location of Pablo’s Chicken, which has other locations in the State College area.

Uriel, the founder of Bagel Crust and Pablo’s Chicken, came up with the idea for the new restaurant while strolling downtown. He posted on Pablo’s Chicken’s new website his inspiration for opening the new location.

“I walked and walked and never found a place to buy freshly cooked chicken. That sparked the idea,” the website reads. “So, that seems like reason enough to build a restaurant – when you like food and there’s a reasonable demand for food, go for it, some would say.”

The difference between something like Pablo’s Chicken and the area’s fast food giants like Kentucky Fried Chicken or Chick-fil-a is the difference in service and the use of resources to reach more people within the community, according to Bryan.

“I’m a local here, what can I say? I live here, I work here, there’s nothing that we’re going to offer at Pablo’s,” Bryan said.

Pablo’s Chicken is currently accepting applications on its website.

If you are interested in submitting a letter to the editor, click here.

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