Located near the intersection of Routes 55 and 66 at Slaty Fork is the Kickin’ Chicken, a small restaurant with a drive-up window where big flavors are served to locals and tourists alike.
Owners David Ping and Kim Guiden are no strangers to the restaurant business, but this is the first time they’ve been owners in the industry.
Ping, originally from Virginia, started his culinary career as a pizza delivery guy and found his way to Snowshoe where he started as a bartender and moved on to being a chef.
Guiden went the more traditional route and attended culinary school at Johnson and Wale University in Providence, Rhode Island. The Pennsylvania native also found her way to Snowshoe Mountain and worked her way through the kitchens of several restaurants before deciding she was ready to have one of her own.
“We wanted to do something different,” she said. “Chicken and the family-style type thing with a quick grab and go – with the whole rotisserie chickens, family sides of mashed potatoes, beans, coleslaw – all that stuff.”
“There’s something more eternal about what people have been eating at home their whole lives,” Ping added. “The family style, too, is a decent way to give a decent bulk of food at a price we can hopefully make some money on and the person is pumped about getting.”
Along with the family-style meal, the menu includes soups, salads, hoagies and pasta dishes.
Although the name implies that all dishes involve chicken, the truth is, the name was just the most fun and least ridiculous name the partners came up with while brainstorming.
“It doesn’t matter – we could sell frogs on a stick,” Ping said. “The name, I think it’s just fun to say.”
“We did have a few other weird names,” Guiden added. “That one just kind of stuck in my mind.”
“I was goofing around and writing nonsensical things on a sheet of paper and Chicken Thunder came up very early, which – why?” Ping recalled, laughing. “That’s not a good name. It’s a bit ridiculous, which I thought was kind of funny because Kickin’ Chicken is ridiculous in a different kind of way that works.”
The name stuck and has attracted a fan base for the restaurant which officially opened in January 2022.
Since the opening, the partners have expanded to doing catering jobs and a “kitchen takeover” on Tuesday nights at the Locker Room at Silver Creek for Taco Tuesdays. Ping and Guiden serve chicken and beef tacos with the help of the Locker Room staff.
The Kickin’ Chicken is open Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For a full menu and specials, visit the Kickin’ Chicken and more Facebook Page or call 304-572-4444.