Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Chickies is a household name in Bergen County, largely due to its delicious food and fun atmosphere. Whether it be the Cap’n Munch, the West Englewood Avenue or the Fuggedaboudit, locals all seem to have a favorite Chickies order. For those who may not know, or have wondered about the restaurant’s offerings but never quite made it inside, Chickies is a “french fry and chicken bar,” according to its menu. The interestingly named dishes are chicken sandwiches with different vegetable toppings and sauces, most crispy, but there are grilled chicken options as well. In addition, Chickies sells popcorn chicken and chicken fingers, wraps, wings, salads and mini burgers, along with onion rings and fries.

The Hasons opened Chickies in 2005, and in so doing established a place where people were assured good-quality kosher food and a friendly environment. After nearly 11 years, Neer and Melanie Hason have decided to sell the restaurant and dedicate more time to their family.

Neer originally opened the restaurant to help his younger brother through college. At that point he had no idea that Chickies would evolve into the popular eatery it has become. His brother subsequently left to follow his dream of moving to Israel, at which point Neer focused fully on the restaurant.

Chickies quickly became a popular hangout, serving delicious takeout into the late hours of the night. Initially there was skepticism about the restaurant’s late hours, but it quickly became apparent that Hason had created a safe and enjoyable place in which patrons could feel comfortable, regardless of the hour.

Neer’s wife, Melanie, has played a large role in the success of Chickies, handling much of the behind-the-scenes details, including administrative work and catering needs.

“I have always supported my husband in his ambition of promoting quality fast food and providing kids a safe place to gather and enjoy kosher meals,” Melanie articulated.

Chickies has been a haven for so many people throughout the years, Neer said. “I have witnessed marriage proposals, first dates, birth announcements and so much more right here in the store,” he recalled.

Neer wants to express his sincerest gratitude to the community who supported the restaurant for the last decade. When asked why he is selling, Neer explained that he needs to contribute more time to his family. Melanie and Neer have three sons and a baby on the way. Their second child, Ariel, was born with developmental delays.

“It has become too difficult to devote the necessary time to both the restaurant and my son’s needs,” Neer explained.

Neer was very selective in choosing the next owner of Chickies. Many candidates were interested, but he was committed to finding the right people who would continue to treat customers with respect and kindness, people who shared his vision. New owners Reuven and Shmuel Mozorowsky fit the bill perfectly, and the Hasons encourage their patrons to warmly welcome them to Teaneck.

Neer and Melanie have invested a great deal of time in the restaurant and will miss the many people with whom they have connected through the years. They want to thank their patrons for their continued support.

By Andrea Nissel