Crews demolish former Pizza Hut building in Willmar to make way for Slim Chickens restaurant coming in 2023


— The old Pizza Hut building is being torn down to make way for a new drive-thru restaurant —

Slim Chickens

— set to open about mid-2023.

Slim Chickens, which will be located at 1605 First St. S. in Willmar, will have seating for up to 70 people, but 60 to 65% of its business is typically drive-thru, according to owner Steve Letnes.

The Willmar Planning Commission approved site plans for the new restaurant at its Oct. 5 meeting.

Slim Chickens originated in Arkansas in 2003 and there are currently about 200 nationwide, according to Letnes.

He is currently developing 13 Slim Chickens, mostly in Minnesota. The Willmar location will be the third Slim Chickens to be built in Minnesota, with one currently open in Mankato and another being constructed in St. Cloud.

There are three Slim Chickens in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, one in Fargo, North Dakota, and one in Des Moines, Iowa, but the restaurant's core area is Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma, according to Letnes.

He described the restaurant as something between Chick-fil-A and Raising Canes.

Construction this fall will consist of setting the footings for the new building and installing underground utilities.