El Pollo Loco opens Monday | NevadaAppeal.com

El Pollo Loco opens Monday

Dave Frank
Appeal Staff Writer
BRAD HORN/Nevada Appeal El Pollo Loco chicken comes off the grill.

Workers trade play money and flip chicken, getting ready for the rush they know will come.

They stop at the drive-thru, confirm orders and sneak past each other to get to their food stations.

The owners of the store said Thursday they’re preparing for customers from Carson City who have driven to El Pollo Loco restaurants in Reno and for years have asked to have a place closer to eat.

“I do not recall a day people did not ask,” said Mohammed Sattar, the franchise owner.

City officials and the Carson City Chamber of Commerce will even be there Monday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the restaurant – part of a fast food chain specializing in flame-grilled chicken.

“There’s a lot of people who want to eat here,” said Mike Iqbal, a store co-owner.

Kyle Price, 17, moved to Carson City from Southern California a few years ago where he lived a block a way from one of the restaurants.

He used to eat there at least once a week and is excited one is opening in the city.

“I love this food,” he said.

The restaurant, 1923 Highway 50 East, will be the 17th in Nevada. There are close to 400 locations in the country.

The store, near the 395 Freeway off-ramp, will give away prizes on Monday and Tuesday, including bicycles, a boom box, an MP3 player and El Pollo Loco gift certificates.

It is open seven days a week from 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

This is the fourth El Pollo Loco store for Sattar, president of Superior Food Services Inc.

The store has about 15 employees and took $2.7 million to open, Sattar said. This was more than the average store because a building there before had to be demolished.

The chain was founded in Guasave, Mexico, in 1975, according to the corporate office.

El Pollo Loco, pronounced “L Po-yo Lo-co” is Spanish for “The Crazy Chicken.” It opened its first U.S. store in 1980.

The chain has expanded quickly, Sattar said, because people are attracted to how healthy the food is.

A lot of people, like him, had to get used to the food, though, because they have been eating more greasy fried chicken, he said.

The chain has its headquarters in Costa Mesa, Calif., and is privately owned by Trimaran Pollo Partners and management.

• Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.