Just recently, Houston saw rapper and entrepreneur, Bun B open up a pop-up restaurant, Trill Burgers and the crowd was a large one to support the UnderGround Kingz rapper. But, over the weekend, TNT analyst, Shaquille O’Neal brought his Big Chicken to Houston as well and it was so packed that the fire marshall had to be summoned.
According to The Houston Press, the Saturday opening of Shaq’s Big Chicken caused such a commotion that a fire marshal in the city had to shut it down due to the larger-than-anticipated crowd. The restaurant, which is located at 9630 Westheimer Rd, #1000 had so many people clamoring to get inside that the parking lots on both sides of Westheimer between South Gessner and Tanglewilde were filled with vehicles.
The attention that the opening got was due to the man who owns the franchise. He was at the restaurant welcoming customers and taking photos with the people who did get a chance to speak to him. He stated that he is grateful for the love that Houston has given him.
“I’ve been living here for 30 years. I just want to thank the people of Houston for coming out. I love the turnout but if it was ten people or one hundred people, I’m going to be thankful.”
Last year, the NBA Hall of Famer signed a deal to place 50 Big Chicken restaurants in Texas. Starting with the opening in Houston, he intends to place restaurants in four of the largest Texas markets— including Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin.
“This is my creation—Excuse me, this is my mama’s creation. Coming where we come from me and this little guy had to eat chicken a lot,” Shaq says as he refers to his brother. “Chicken sandwiches, chicken tacos, chicken everything. When the opportunity came to create this franchise, we had a meeting and sold over 250. This is the first to open in Houston. I just wanted people to come out so I’m paying for everything today. Try it. If you like it, cool. If you don’t let me know why because we want to make this one of the best restaurants out here.”
After the fire marshal shut the restaurant down, the former Los Angeles Lakers player stayed outside with the crowd and he signed autographs, took photographs, and interacted with them.