Retail News: Final Vacant Carl’s Jr. buildings take on new feathers as Slim Chickens

A surprise stop at Sprouts across the street revealed that the final vacant Carl’s Jr. will become a Slim Chickens

Carl’s Jr. left Houston in early 2020 at the start of the pandemic. Down to just a few locations, and seemingly unable to find staffing over the past few years, Carl’s had a less than grand time in the Houston market. The chain had only been in the Houston market about 10 years before pulling the plug. Various locations have found one-off tenants, like a subdivided 24 Subway, or even Taco Bueno’s reentry into the Houston market. However, starting early last year, permits were filed for a single Slim Chickens location in a former Carl’s Jr. on S. Main, signaling the company’s entry inside the loop from the suburbs. While This has yet to occur, many other former Carl’s Jr. locations have recently reopened as Slim Chicken’s, an Arkansas-based chain specializing in Chicken Strips.

This project is known internally as “Slim Chicken’s Takeover”, a term used seemingly only on locations that are being converted from old CJ’s locations. As of this post, there are still some vacant Carl’s Jr. locations. Most are located further out in suburbs, like Rosenberg, Fulshear, and Tomball. Other than the obvious S. Main location, which may or may not receive a conversion, the only other Houston vacancy is the former location at 290 and Pinemont. This store was built around 2013 and suffered heavily from construction related to the removal of the original Pinemont overpass, along with many other eateries along this stretch of 290. It closed in early 2019, shortly before most other Carl’s Jr. locations.