Restaurant News & Reviews

Love chicken? A new El Pollo Loco restaurant just opened in SLO

The second El Pollo Loco restaurant in San Luis Obispo County is now open.

The Mexican-style restaurant specializing in grilled chicken opened Sunday in the former location of the MacSuperstore near Target on Los Osos Valley Road after signing a lease to the 2,500-square-foot space in 2017, said owner Ashish Verma.

Verma, whose family has El Pollo Loco locations in Paso Robles and in Santa Maria, said the restaurant has had a “good response” from customers since it opened.

Verma said the SLO-based business has 35 to 40 employees, and it’s still hiring for a few more cashiers and a handful of cooks.

“It’s good to be in SLO,” Verma said. “We’ve been waiting to open at this location for awhile. It’s a very good spot and perfect for us.”

Verma said the restaurant has 54 indoor seats and 10 outside, and the business caters and delivers, as well.

“We’ll be involved in the community,” Verma said. “We’ll have special discounts for students. We’ll be donating to charities and offering scholarships and sponsorships.”

El Pollo Loco, which means “the crazy chicken” in Spanish, was launched in Sinaloa, Mexico, in 1975 and specializes in “citrus-marinated and fire-grilled” chicken. The restaurant also offers other typical Mexican-style food.

Headquartered today in Costa Mesa, California, El Pollo Loco has grown to more 400 company-owned and franchised restaurants in Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Texas and California.

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Nick Wilson covers the city of San Luis Obispo and has been a reporter at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo since 2004. He also writes regularly about K-12 education, Cal Poly, Morro Bay and Los Osos. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and UC Berkeley and is originally from Ojai.