Plano is now home to the country’s 26th Fat Shack. The new outpost opened two weeks ago at the northeast corner of Coit Road and Spring Creek Parkway. It’s quickly attracted a devoted following of diners looking for, let’s just say, a less-than-healthy meal.
The restaurant’s tagline is “late night done right.” The Plano location will stay open until 1 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday and until 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. Specialty menu items include over-the-top sandwiches, filled with things like chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, French fries, jalapeño poppers and onion rings. The dessert menu includes deep-fried Twinkies, Oreos and Rice Krispies treats.
Founder Tom Armenta created the concept in 2010 after graduating from college in New Jersey. He saw a need for late-night food and made a deal with a local bagel store to use their facility in the evenings. After a year of that arrangement, he moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, and joined forces with his friend Kevin Gabauer. The two figured that the home of Colorado State University would be the perfect market for their new concept.
Fat Shack first gained national attention in 2019 when Mark Cuban agreed to become an investor on his show “Shark Tank.” The company now boasts 26 locations across 11 states including Texas outposts in Denton, Fort Worth, College Station and San Marcos. Many of those locations are run by former restaurant employees.
Plano franchisee Karman Singh says he was interested in becoming a restaurant franchise owner when he discovered Fat Shack. After being blown away by the food at the Fort Worth and Denton locations, he knew it was the company he wanted to work with.
Sing approached the owners, who have been pretty choosy about who they allow to open a franchise. He eventually earned their approval and began looking at locations in the Dallas and Plano markets. The Coit Road space appealed to him because it was within a short distance of nightspots like the Legacy area but also convenient to many nearby neighborhoods. Plano residents seem to be fans, with business often brisk right up until closing.
“So far it’s been pretty great,” Singh says. “People are excited about it.”