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Side Chick plans to open in March at The Track Family Fun Parks in Branson.
Courtesy The Track Family Fun Parks Facebook page
Side Chick plans to open in March at The Track Family Fun Parks in Branson.

Chicken eatery set to launch at The Track Family Fun Parks

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Less than three months after opening a sandwich shop in downtown Branson, the owners of barbecue restaurant chain Gettin’ Basted have a new eatery concept coming to the 76 Strip.

Chicken is the star attraction for The Side Chick LLC, a venture owned by Brad Leighninger, Derrick Melugin, Jason Roberts and Tammy Zachary. The restaurant will be located at 3405 W. Highway 76 as part of The Track Family Fun Parks. The Branson attraction includes go-karts, a Ferris wheel and other rides, as well as laser tag, miniature golf and an arcade. Zachary said a mid-March opening for the eatery is planned.

Side Chick, as Zachary said the restaurant will do business, is the latest creation from the quartet of owners, who also operate Hollister pub Downing Street Pour House and Mythical ’Wich LLC, which opened in late December, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

They also are franchisees in Lubbock, Texas-based Bahama Buck’s, which specializes in flavored shaved ice and frozen nonalcoholic drinks. The ownership group opened a Branson location in September on Highway 76, according to past reporting.

“The chicken place has actually been in the works before Bahama Buck’s or Mythical ’Wich,” Zachary said. “Believe it or not, the chicken place was always talked about at The Track.”

Zachary said her friend, Craig Wescott, senior vice president with Five Star Parks and Attractions, which owns The Tracks, brought the property to her attention several months ago.

At The Track, Five Star previously owned and operated Fuel Fresh American Grill, which Zachary said shuttered last fall. It opened in 2022, according to past reporting. Side Chick will occupy the 4,700-square-foot space, which has seating capacity for around 200 people, including a double-decker patio for outside dining.

Startup costs will be $100,000, Zachary said, adding the owners signed a five-year lease with two 10-year extensions for an undisclosed rate with Five Star.

Side Chick will serve rotisserie-style and “broasted” chicken along with sides, such as coleslaw, barbecue street corn, charro beans, cucumber salad, fried okra and Southern green beans.

“It’s a pressure fryer, so it uses very little oil in it,” Zachary said of cooking broasted chicken. “It’s not an oily fried chicken but is crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside.”

The owners view their new eatery, which will employ around 50 people, as a Gettin’ Basted spinoff.

“That’s why it’s called the Side Chick because it’s like we’re taking the same concept from our chicken from Gettin’ Basted and just expanding it into this restaurant,” she said, noting several of the sides are identical to what is offered at their barbecue chain.

With Side Chick serving as the ownership group’s third business to start in Branson in roughly six months, Zachary said no more concepts are in the works – for now.

“Things just kind of happened that way,” she said of the owners’ recent prolific activity. “We just got approached with several opportunities that we didn’t want to turn down.”


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