On February 18th, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, a franchise originally located in the West Tennessee area, announced on it’s Facebook page that in 2015 a franchise will be opening in Knoxville, along with seven other new franchises in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Ft. Worth, Kansas City, Chicago and St. Louis.

If you’re from the greater-Memphis area (as many UTK students are,) you know exactly how exciting this news is. Some of your favorite Memphis food is finally going to be available to you year round. No need for a weekend drive or school breaks to get your fried chicken fix. As a Memphian myself, I understand the hype.

UTK students from other areas maybe thinking, “Okay, more fried chicken, that’s great and all. But I already have Cane’s, Zaxby’s, and let’s not forget the original Gus’s- Gus’s Good Time Deli. What’s the big deal?”

Let me enlighten you, you poor soul.


Photo courtesy of Flicker user Darren & Brad

Gus’s has been in business for over 60 years. Their original location is located in a small town called Mason, Tennessee, which is a little east of Memphis. The restaurant started as a family restaurant and continues to be family-based to this day. So you know there’s love in the food from step one.

Gus’s isn’t fast food. The fried chicken restaurants you know and love in Knox now don’t compare to the homestyle taste of Gus’s Fried Chicken. Good food takes time, and with Gus’s, it’s worth the wait. The recipe is a secret, but anyone could recognize the unique spicy flavor that Gus’s has made it’s trademark. Whether you choose a breast, thigh, wing or leg, you can still expect the signature crispy crunch that comes with their chicken.

You know Gus’s is a traditional southern dining establishment when there’s more than just fries and cole slaw as side options. With sides including mac and cheese, baked beans, potato salad, fried rice and even whole jalapeños, you can eat there multiple times and never have the same meal twice.

The price is perfect and reasonable for college students, too. With their plate option, you can get a meal with three chicken wings, baked beans, cole slaw and bread for under $6. Did I mention they also serve alcohol for in store customers? You actually can’t get much better than that.


Photo courtesy of Flickr user Evan Blaser

If you aren’t excited for a Gus’s Fried Chicken in Knoxville yet, then I’m not sure what else can excite you. Maybe trying the restaurant yourself will make everything clear to you. Though an official opening date and location have yet to be annouced, we will all be watching their Facebook page for announcements like a hawk (or chicken?).

Speaking for myself and all other Memphians attending UTK, I say, come at us, Gus’s. You’ll be glad you decided to franchise with us.

To keep your stomach full in the meantime, check out these Knoxville restaurants: