University Chicken opened up just a few Saturdays ago. This was thrilling news for me as I have been heartbroken since the demise of Wings (formerly in River Park) and was looking for a good wings place. As it was our weekly dinner and a movie night for me and my friends I elected we meet there.
As I rolled up I saw that it was in the space that John's New England Pizza used to be. Though I was sorry to see it gone, I was glad there was a new chicken place. We walked in and the decor was bright and warm. Mainly primary colors of Red, White, and blue (Obviously influenced by Fresno State colors). We arrived around 6:00 so it was already dark. The place had a lot of neon on the windows, which always looks cool and lends any establishment a little warmth.
The restaurant is set up deli style. When you walk in through the darkened glass door, to the left is the area where you order all your food & drinks, which is then delivered to your table. Directly in front of you is a long L-shaped bar and to the right is the restaurant seating. The exposed ceiling is high and there is lots of good lighting. The whole place looks, to me, like a much smaller but much more vibrant and warm Doghouse. However, that is where the similarities end. Unlike Doghouse, the place does not seem that noisy, even though it was full. It had about 10 flat screen TV's and lots of seating without seeming overly crowded.
As we looked at the menu which was primarily chicken and other comfort foods, I noticed a sign with a huge thermometer indicating the seven different levels of hotness with fun names like thermonuclear death. This was a good sign - no pun intended.
I told the guy behind the counters that I didn't want "habañero" hot, which is a little hot for me, but Jalapenos were nothing, so what should I get? He recommended the Atomic, but it seemed a little wimpy to me so I went for the Nuclear (I have my reputation to protect after all). My friend Michele, who doesn't like meat on the bone, ordered a chicken burger. It seems a lot of people don't like meat on the bone, but I say if you can't gnaw on the bone you lose half the fun.
We got our food and I wasn't disappointed, but I have to say the nuclear was almost too hot for me (not that I was about to admit it to anyone I was with) the wings were delicious, but I almost broke out in a sweat! But then again that's how I like it.
To give some background this is University Chicken's 3rd location. They have a restaurant in Santa Clara and San Jose and they are famous for some of the spiciest foods in California. They offer seven different levels of heat and the "911 Challenge". Which if you win you get a t-shirt and more importantly, bragging rights.
University chicken is also home of the Gallon Pitcher, in-house games, 10 TV screens to appease even the most ravenous sports fanatic, fantastic spicy food and beer or food specials every night of the week, and unlike a lot of the other sports bars, a warm intimate and friendly atmosphere! So hit it up, you will love the food, the prices, and the atmosphere!
University Chicken is open late 7 days a week from 10 am to 12 midnight. Located at 2633 E. Shaw Avenue across from Save Mart Center. For more information call (559) 292-9013. See you there!