New restaurant opens in Oxford
● By Steven Hoffman
Oxford officially welcomed the newest restaurant in town with a March 9 ribbon-cutting ceremony for HNT Chicken, a rapidly growing restaurant brand.
State Rep. John Lawrence, Oxford Borough manager Brian Hoover, Oxford mayor Phil Harris, and Oxford Mainstreet, Inc. executive director Brian Wenzka were among a host of officials who turned out for the ribbon cutting and to welcome HNT Chicken officials Ronak Pandya and Rohan Pandya to Oxford. HNT Chicken is located at 66 S. 3rd Street, which was previously the longtime home of the Pizza Hut until it closed in 2019.
Wenzka noted that this is the 41st new business to open in Oxford since 2012.
The Oxford location is the fifth HNT Chicken location, according to Chance Harr, the company’s brand ambassador. A sixth location was set to debut in Connecticut on March 13.
The “HNT” in the restaurant’s name stand for “hot and tender,” and the chicken offerings have been a big hit at the HNT restaurants that previously opened—including the three that are located in Philadelphia. The restaurant features a variety of classic chicken options, including chicken tenders and chicken sandwiches. A popular item on the menu is the HNT Box, which comes with a sandwich, a classic tender, hand-cut fries, and a medium drink. HNT Signature Creations features 15 HNT bites dipped in barbecue honey, Thai, buffalo, or honey mustard sauces. Guests can also choose from a variety of sides, including cole slaw, sweet potato fries, black beans, sweet golden corn, a side salad, and white rice.
Ronak Pandya said at the ribbon-cutting that their father has been in the restaurant business for decades.
“We have been interested in the chicken category for a long time, and based on our team’s deep experience with a variety of restaurants across the area, HNT is primed to be a major player in this popular segment,” Pandya said in a statement that was released to coincide with the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The company has plans to grow rapidly over the course of the next two years, especially in southeastern Pennsylvania.
HNT Chicken made an immediate effort to be an active participant in the community, partnering with the Oxford-based Eli Seth Matthews Leukemia Foundation on a fundraiser. The company pledged 20 percent of the opening day sales to the foundation, which is dedicated to the mission of helping to find a cure for childhood cancer.
“We don’t want to just serve a delicious meal,” Pandya said, “we also want to be part of the neighborhoods we serve. It’s very important to us that we become a positive force in our communities, and supporting a worthy nonprofit organization like the Eli Seth Matthews Leukemia Foundation is one way we can show our support for the southern Chester County community.”
Paul Matthews, who founded the Eli Seth Matthews Leukemia Foundation in memory of his son, expressed his gratitude to HNT Chicken for the support.
“These donations will help in our mission to fight childhood cancer,” Matthews said. “We’re blessed by this and we’re grateful.”
The Oxford HNT Chicken is open from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. each Sunday through Thursday and 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.