Guy Fieri's Chicken Guy Restaurant Under Construction In Napa County

AMERICAN CANYON, CA — A Santa Rosa-based hospitality group has broken ground on Northern California’s first Guy Fieri-backed Chicken Guy! drive-thru restaurant.

And the group has planned an ambitious 90-day goal to complete construction.

Chandi Hospitality Group has held an exclusive agreement to develop, own and operate Chicken Guy! sites in nine Northern California counties, plus Sacramento and parts of San Francisco, since 2019. But, like most things, it was put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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So, it was a momentous occasion when the Chandi family gathered March 8 to mark the start of construction.

“We know this territory well because of our various Mountain Mike’s Pizza restaurants and are engaged in the community in all levels,” said Bhupinder “Sonu” Singh Chandi, the group’s founder and president.

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Chicken Guy! is a franchise restaurant created by celebrity chef Guy Fieri, a Sonoma County resident, and Robert Earl, a renowned restaurateur and CEO of Planet Hollywood.

The eatery offers unique, all-natural chicken tenders, marinated in fresh lemon juice, pickle brine, buttermilk and herbs, boasting exceptional flavor and texture.

Healthier alternatives, such as grilled chicken or a salad, are also available — but the franchise’s “secret sauce” is a large variety of sauces crafted by Guy Fieri that complement the tenders and sides.

Although there is an existing Chicken Guy! at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara it does not have a full kitchen nor a drive-thru, so it is not considered a full restaurant. The first real location is under construction at 200 American Canyon Road.

Back To The Beginning

Chandi Hospitality Group got its start when at 16 years old, Sonu Chandi hustled on a kitchen line during bustling Friday night dinners. Three years later, the Chandi brothers — Sonu and Jatinder “Joti” Chandi — helped their father, Gurcharan Chandi, launch his restaurant, Saroor Indian Cuisine, in the Bay Area.

Saroor was their training ground and where they honed their skills in lease negotiations, vendor management, team building and cultivating the enthusiasm that solidified their ambition to establish a hospitality empire of their own.

In 2007, the Chandi group embarked on its journey into the restaurant industry by acquiring its inaugural eatery — a Mountain Mike’s Pizza restaurant in Rohnert Park.

While balancing college educations, the group dove headfirst into franchising, grappling with the intricacies of scheduling, management, and all other facets of franchise ownership. Over time, the group became Mountain Mike’s North Bay development agent.

Today, the group owns 17 Mountain Mike’s Pizzas and several businesses in Santa Rosa.

“We’ve always focused our business on real-estate development behind the scenes,” Chandi said.

In 2019, the Chandi Hospitality Group started looking into the Chicken Guy! concept.

In addition to its familiarity with the territory and successful franchising, he believes the Chandi Hospitality Group was chosen as a partner for Chicken Guy! because of its background in development.

“Things picked back up in late 2021 when the American Canyon site was brought to our attention by our broker as something ready to go,” Chandi said.

The group soon learned the site had lost its entitlement because the property sat too long without proceeding with a submission for building plans.

This led to an 18-month setback.

“We are trying to make up time and get our first site, the first Chicken Guy! drive-thru in Northern California, completed in 90 days, which is a very ambitious goal,” Chandi said. “We are working with several subcontractors to achieve that.”

Under the aggressive timeline, the first Chicken Guy! could be open as soon as early July.

After that, Chandi Hospitality Group plans to develop a minimum of 10 other Chicken Guy! locations throughout the North Bay in the next five years.

Chandi attributes the group’s initial interest in the Chicken Guy! restaurant to the growth of Fieri’s brand.

“He’s become a big national celebrity, but he does a lot of local work,” Chandi said. “We also wanted to partner with someone with experience in multiple concepts, which Planet Hollywood does.”

Chicken Guy! by Guy Fieri is excited to have partnered with Chandi Hospitality to launch the FIRST Chicken Guy! restaurant in Northern California, said Ed Yancey, chief franchise officer.

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“The Chandis are seasoned operators in Northern California and are an ideal group to launch our first location in this market,” Yancey said. “This premiere location is slated to open September 2024 in American Canyon at the intersection of 200 American Canyon Road & Broadway Lincoln Highway.”

According to Yancey, Chicken Guy! by Guy Fieri leverages the creative and culinary expertise of Guy Fieri in the creation of its unique one-of-a-kind chicken tender that is brined, hand-pounded, and seasoned in a selection of spices that give it a unique crispness and taste profile, which differentiates the brand from other concepts.

“Guy’s unique spin on chicken sandwiches provides some of the most craveable flavor combinations that consumers will find, anywhere,” Yancey said. “Top all sandwiches and chicken strips with some of Guy’s extraordinary sauces, from the ‘Boss of Sauce,’ and make your way to Flavortown!”

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