Rhett Brinkley

Korean fried chicken franchise bb.q Chicken will be opening its first Arkansas location in April in the former David’s Burgers space at 101 S. Bowman Road.

Not to be confused with barbecue chicken, “bb.q” stands for “Best of the Best Quality.” The restaurant was established in South Korea in 1995 and expanded into the U.S. market in 2014. It is currently operating more than 160 locations in the U.S., according to its website.

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The menu offers both bone-in and boneless wings, as well as whole chicken with flavors such as Gang-Jeong, a spicy soy-based sauce; Gangnam, a black pepper sauce; and Galbi, which the menu describes as a Korean classic that’s sweet, savory and smoky.

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Little Rock’s franchise operator Han Cho grew up in South Korea and said he remembers his parents bringing home bb.q Chicken about once a week when he was in middle school and high school. He strongly recommends ordering the chicken with the restaurant’s Secret Sauce.

“That’s what I eat every time,” Cho said. He described it as sweet and tangy and said he likes adding it to rice and never leaves a drop behind.

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Featured flavors also include Soy Garlic, Hot Mala and Cheesling. The former comes dusted with sweet cheeses (grab extra napkins, the menu says).

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The menu also includes Kimchi Fried Rice and Ddeok-Bokki, a Korean street food made from rice cakes and fish cakes in a sweet and spicy chili reduction.

Cho said the opening date hinges on a fire marshal inspection this week, then a health department inspection early next week. He’s hopeful the restaurant will be open by April 9.

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Cho said the restaurant will offer full service and have 14 beers on tap and about 10 beer selections in bottles. He said they hope to carry soju at some point but that beer will be the main focus (the sign out front says bb.q Chicken & Pub). The restaurant will offer happy hour ($2.00 off per beer) Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

The 4,000-square-foot space will also offer karaoke in two private rooms guests can book by the hour. Cho said one room is sized to accommodate six to eight people and the larger room will be available for up to 12 people.

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Hours of operation will be 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun.-Thu. And 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat.

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