Poultry in motion

International Korean fried chicken chain nests in Highland for first Austin location

International Korean fried chicken chain nests in first Austin locale

BB.Q Chicken
BB.Q will debut in Austin in early 2020. BB.Q Chicken/Facebook

Need further proof that the local food scene is rapidly changing? Once steadfastly devoted to mom-and-pop restaurants, Austin is now attracting international chains like Burgerim and Bonchon as it transforms into a global city.

Now, one of Asia's largest restaurant franchises is swooping in. BB.Q Chicken, part of a Korean hospitality group that operates thousands of fast-casual restaurants in 57 countries, is opening its first Austin location in the The Crescent shopping plaza at Airport and North Lamar boulevards.

The news, first reported by the Austin Business Journal, was confirmed by a BB.Q rep who says the first day of business has yet to be determined, but the team expects it to debut early 2020.

Though Texas only has three locations of the behemoth brand, BB.Q is ubiquitous in Korea and China. Its specialty is poultry dishes like wings, traditional plates like gochujang chicken galbi, and boneless chicken dishes like the Surpfried slathered in caramelized onion sauce and battered in crunch cereal.

The chain also offers a variety of other dishes like kimchi ramen, garden salads, stir-fried rice cakes, and a Korean take on Canadian poutine with marinated ribeye steak and a sunny-side-up egg.

Earlier in the decade, Highland Village shopping center struggled with vacancies, but has seen a rebirth in the past four years thanks to its rebrand as The Crescent and a profusion of Asian concepts. Anchored by California-based grocer 99 Ranch Market, it also boasts Kula Revolving Sushi Bar and an outpost of Taiwanese chain 85°c Bakery Cafe.