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Around Saratoga

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Hattie's Chicken Shack to open Wilton location

Hattie's Chicken Shack is going casual.

Not the iconic 72-year-old restaurant at 45 Phila St., but a new branch with a fast casual concept that is expected to open this fall in Wilton.

Owners Beth and Jasper Alexander announced this week they're doing interior work on a new space in the plaza occupied by Chipotle and Five Guys on Route 50.

The 2,300-square-foot restaurant will be next to the Meat House, and will be similar to the Hattie's seen at Saratoga Race Course, where the restaurant this year moved out of Restaurant Row and into its own space nearby.

It will offer some of the food served at the Phila Street location and will serve Famous Fried Chicken Sandwiches that are popular at the track but not served at the original restaurant.

"We've just had such success at that, and said, 'Wow, this really works,'" Beth Alexander said of the stand at the track.

The couple investigated starting or buying other restaurants in town, but couldn't stop thinking about Hattie's.

"We just kept coming back to Hattie's brand and Hattie's concept," Alexander said.

Seeing the popularity of chains like Chick-fil-A strengthened their decision.

"We're like, 'Gosh we do this, and we do it really well.'"

Hattie's Chicken Shack Wilton spot will be mainly for takeout, Alexander said, but will also seat at least 60 people. It will also be a staging area for the company's growing catering business.

"Hopefully it's the first of many," she said of opening other Hattie's locations, adding Puerto Rico would be a good spot in the future.

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