In June, Slim Chickens hopes to start breaking ground at its new location off Wellspring Avenue in Rio Rancho. (Gregory Hasman/Observer)

Construction to build a new chicken restaurant in Rio Rancho may begin soon.

Slim Chickens hopes to break ground sometime in June, restaurant franchisee Dennis Ekstrom told the Observer on Monday morning. Hopefully in the next few weeks, he said. 

The restaurant will be located at 1909 Wellspring Ave. near the ALON gas station.  

Its menu includes chicken tenders, chicken waffles, wraps and milkshakes. 

In March, the Rio Rancho Governing Body OK’d the company’s site plan to build the restaurant.    

At its May 10 meeting, the Rio Rancho Planning and Zoning Board Ok’d Slim Chickens’ request for a variance to the maximum 20-foot setback requirement. The proposed restaurant will measure 47.2 feet away from the future right of way. 

The 47.2-foot distance from the right of way line will allow a drive aisle around the building to provide proper circulation around the site both for the general public, and fire and emergency needs. The company requested the variance to the front building setback to move the building further into the site by 27 feet to allow for this circulation on the property, according to a meeting packet. 

The restaurant could open by late 2022 or early 2023. 

Slim Chickens, a Fayetteville, Arkansas-based company, opened its first location in 2003 and has locations across 27 states and in the United Kingdom.   

For more information on the company, visit