A new fried chicken restaurant opened on the corner of California and Otero Street last Friday.

The owner of RJ’s Chick-Inn, Mark Martin, said his friends have been encouraging him to share his fried chicken with the world for several years after he came up with a new version inspired from his grandfather’s original recipe.

“I combined these two recipes, and it was like, wow, this is great, this is different,” Martin said.

“I made it for a few people, and they said ‘oh, this is really great, we need this.”
He said everything is homemade; the fries are cut in the morning and the sauces are made from scratch. He recommends that people try the churros for dessert, especially the chocolate one.

“My fried chicken batter has flavor and its homemade; it isn’t commercial so it’s darker than normal,” Martin said.

He said it may not look like commercial fried chicken, but he isn’t willing to sacrifice looks for taste.

Martin is no stranger to the restaurant business; he’s been working in the industry since he was 14 years old and transitioning to opening a restaurant for him was “natural”. For months after work, he has been fixing up the space that was previously Yo Mama’s Bar & Grill before they moved to their current location.

Martin is the director of child nutrition as a contractor for Socorro Consolidated Schools, and he says he has no plan in leaving his position with the school.

“I love my job at the schools and talking to the kids about nutrition,” Martin said.

His priority is his employees and sharing his knowledge, “I want it to be successful so the staff here can have a decent paying job. I don’t want to become a millionaire off of it, but if I can open a business and it’s a good product, I can teach and coach people along the way in a real-life environment, that’s what I want to do.”

He said he would be open to tying into the schools in the future as part of a CTE program where a curriculum could be developed around restaurant management and culinary arts.

To see RJ’s Chick-Inn menu please visit: www.rjschickinn.com.