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‘Gut box’: Growing chicken finger chain plans first Boise restaurant 🐔

The chicken boom continues.

A drive-thru chain that bills itself as the “original chicken finger restaurant” plans to open a drive-thru location in a former bank site on Vista Ave. in Boise.

Guthrie’s Chicken plans to expand beyond its current footprint in the southeast and midwest with a restaurant and drive-thru at 1103 S. Vista Ave., across from Vista Village.

The Guthrie’s menu is pretty straightforward, offering chicken wings and chicken sandwiches, a few sides, plus Coke products and sweet tea. The top menu item is “commonly referred to as a ‘gut box,'” and comes with fried chicken fingers, fries, cole slaw, texas toast, and “signature sauce.”

It’s a return to form of sorts for the building, which was built in 1981 for another chicken chain, Popeye’s. In 1994, the building was revamped, the kitchen torn out, and West One Bank opened in its place. The bank later changed branding to US Bank, which operated until the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. US Bank elected not to reopen the branch.

The footprint and size of the bank building will remain unchanged, though Guthrie’s would revamp the exterior and remodel the interior. A new red, tan, and brown color scheme will go in, and the vacated drive-thru will return with a new speaker and menu board.

Franchisee Dahlauser Galbraith Operating Companies signed a deal to add 50 new Guthrie’s locations across Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, and New Mexico and could add another 50. The company currently operates two Guthrie’s locations, according to FranchiseTimes. The deal will double the number of Guthrie’s stores and take the chain far beyond its current central US footprint. The trade publication said franchisees Stephen Galbraith and Matt Dahlhauser were targeting Boise and Las Vegas for the first of the 50 stores.

Guthrie’s launched in 1965 in Alabama with a burgers and shakes menu. In the late 1970s, founder Hal Guthrie decided to expand into chicken fingers, and the chain started to evolve from there, FranchiseTimes reported. By 1982, steak and liver were gone from the menu, with just chicken fingers remaining.

The Treasure Valley has seen a boom in fast-food chicken restaurants, including Dave’s Hot Chicken, Super Chix, Cluck’s Nashville Chicken, Slim Chickens, and others.

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Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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