California Grilled Chicken Chain Takes On The "Deep Fried" South

California-based fast food chain is selling Mexican-style grilled chicken deep inside the deep-fried South as it expands beyond its West Coast markets.

The suburban Atlanta restaurant, which opened at the end of
August, is the first Southern location for the El Pollo Loco Inc. chain, which is ranked 70th in the nation's list of top restaurant chains based on sales according to Restaurants & Institutions magazine.

El Pollo Loco is under contract with a company led by a former Church's Chicken executive to open 50 restaurants in the Atlanta area in the next six years.

The chain also plans to open restaurants in the Orlando and Tampa, Florida, areas, in Charlotte, North Carolina, and in Norfolk, Virginia.