Bojangles’ opening second location in Aiken

Staff photo by Bill Bengtson Wendell Rodriguez, training supervisor of Aiken’s newest Bojangles’ restaurant, prepares a batch of Boo-Berry Biscuits Monday afternoon, preparing for the first day of business at 2644 Columbia Highway North, near I-20 Exit 22.

A fresh option for fast food is in place, at 2644 Columbia Highway N., with Bojangles’ having opened its doors at 5 a.m. Tuesday.

Among those running the operation will be owners Patrick and Sandra Landon, Unit Director Milissa Nelson, Operations Director Robin Royal and Training Supervisor Wendell Rodriguez, all with Bojland Restaurant Group.

Daniel Landon, Bojland’s director of operations, noted that his company now has eight restaurants spread around the CSRA, from Aiken to Thomson, Georgia.

The new Aiken site is next to Hardee’s and across the highway from Shell/Circle K, and operating hours are from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. “All the hard parts (are) done,” Landon said, noting that the eatery will provide about 50 new jobs. “Now it’s just unlocking the doors.”

The new location is Aiken’s second, with the first being on Simple Savings Drive, near Sam’s Club. North Augusta also has a Bojangles’, on Edgefield Road, near I-20 Exit 5.

Plans are also in place for more Bojangles’ options in Aiken and North Augusta, with the Aiken eatery to be on Whiskey Road, near Applebee’s and The Fresh Market, to be opened in March 2016; and the North Augusta site to be at Georgia and Knox avenues, with plans for an opening in February 2016. Landon said he expects both of those establishments to provide about 70 new jobs.

When asked about the Bojangles’ specialties, Landon noted, “We serve breakfast all day long.”

The restaurant chain was founded in 1977 and has its headquarters in Charlotte. The website notes, “Bojangles’ core menu is the same now as it was then: distinctive, flavorful chicken made with a special blend of seasonings and served with hot, fresh buttermilk biscuits and one-of-a-kind fixin’s like Bojangles’ Dirty Rice and Bojangles’ Cajun Pintos.”

A June 2015 report from the company cited “646 system-wide restaurants, of which 267 were company-operated and 379 were franchised restaurants,” with most located in the South.

Bill Bengtson, a native of Florence, Alabama, has worked for Aiken Communications since 1996, providing pictures and stories for the Aiken Standard and The North Augusta Star.