Houston’s beloved Aggieland favorite, Layne’s Chicken Fingers, is set to make a splash inside the loop with the grand opening of its third Houston-area location on Saturday, January 20. The new establishment, situated at 2359 S. Shepherd Dr., marks the fourth venture for franchisee Masroor Fatany, a Texas A&M graduate who also owns seven Halal Guys restaurants across the Houston area.
Fatany, who pursued bringing Layne’s to Houston for several years, reminisces about Layne’s being an integral part of the culture during his school days in the early 2000s. He emphasizes Layne’s unique Texan roots, opening its first location in 1994, predating even the popular Raising Cane’s.
The menu at Layne’s offers a focused selection of hand-cut, marinated, and breaded chicken tenders, chicken tender sandwiches, Texas toast, crinkle-cut fries, potato salad, and milkshakes. The “Soon to be Famous” chicken fingers come with a choice of six dipping sauces, including Layne’s Secret Sauce, buttermilk ranch, barbecue, jalapeno ranch, gravy, and honey mustard.
The recent addition of a spicy tender has further elevated Layne’s popularity. Fatany highlights the success of this development, stating, “Research shows more brands are adding spicy to their menu. Layne’s has done a great job of taking their tender and adding a little kick to it.”
Anticipating a large crowd for the grand opening, Fatany plans to offer a festive atmosphere with a DJ, swag, food samples, and the chance to win free Layne’s for a year. The River Oaks/Montrose location, unlike the drive-thru-only Ella spot, will have seating for 18 people, with plans for curbside and third-party delivery services in the future.
Fatany is optimistic about the location’s potential for success, emphasizing its visibility at the intersection of Shepherd and Westheimer, surrounded by the vibrant Fairview neighborhood. His development agreement with Layne’s spans a territory extending east to Beaumont, south to Galveston, and west to Sealy. While he acknowledges the potential for more restaurants, Fatany emphasizes a gradual, organic growth strategy.
“There’s no aggressive deadline I need to meet. We’ll grow organically,” he says. “There’s no better way to build a brand than starting with the inner loop. When a brand gets there, word spreads fast.” As Layne’s Chicken Fingers expands its presence in Houston, it looks poised to become a go-to spot for chicken enthusiasts across the city.