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Now open: Gus’s Fried Chicken of Memphis

Matthew Odam
modam@statesman.com

People who know the name Gus’s Fried Chicken already know (as evidenced by the crowds), but the Memphis-based chicken joint opened today in Austin at 117 San Jacinto Blvd. Napoleon “Na” Bonner and his wife Maggie opened the original Maggie’s Short Orders in Mason, Tenn. more than 60 years ago, according to the business’s website. After the couple passed in 1983, their son, Vernon Bonner, reopened under the name Gus’s in 1984. The restaurant has since spawned franchises in Tennessee, Little Rock and now Austin. Gus’s serves its spicy secret-recipe fried chicken with sides like baked beans, mashed potatoes, seasoned fries and cole slaw. The Austin location will have its own seasonal dishes soon. Austin restaurant vet Brian O’Neill (Uchi, Max’s Wine Dive, Chez Zee and Mirabelle) is the general manager of Gus’s in Austin.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated to correct the spelling of Vernon’s last name.