Raising Cane’s opens West Chester restaurant Thursday

The Butler County location is owned by the franchise RCO Limited.

Nearly 50 employees have been hired for the West Chester opening, according to franchise operators, and plans are to open a second market location this summer in the Springdale area.

“We are thrilled to bring Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers to Cincinnati — entering this market has been a big dream for us and we hope to open more sites by the end of the year,” said Tim McCarthy, owner of RCO Limited, in a written statement.

Lee Trueblood, of Hamilton, events manager and safety coordinator at Raising Cane’s, said in total the chain plans to open eight locations in the Cincinnati market in the next two years. After the Springdale location opens in July, work is underway to open a Florence, Ky. location around October. He said the chain would also like to be near University of Cincinnati.

“Real estate’s really high in the Cincinnati market,” Trueblood said. “We like to focus on college towns because that’s where we started.”

During opening day Thursday in West Chester Twp., the first 100 customers in line will earn a free T-shirt. Giveaways throughout the day include cards for lemonade, Texas toast and combo boxes and spins on a prize wheel, Trueblood said.

Hours of operation are 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays; and 10:30 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays.

Raising Cane’s West Chester Twp. opening was previously delayed. The approximately $1 million project renovated the former Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

Formed in 1996, Louisiana-based Raising Cane’s serves “always fresh, never-ever frozen” chicken fingers, which are marinated for 24 hours, then hand battered and cooked to order. Also featured on the menu are crinkle-cut fries, cole slaw, Texas Toast and Cane’s Sauce.

During a preview night for friends and family on Tuesday, couple Rick and Beth Boone, of Symmes Twp., enjoyed the signature food items.

Beth Boone, who’s eaten at Raising Cane’s in Lexington, Ky., said her favorite part is the “juicy” chicken.

“It’s the only thing they do, so they do it well,” Boone said.

McCarthy founded the Ohio franchise business in 2004.

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