Huey Magoo's is located at 3352 E. Sunshine St. in Springfield. (Photo by Jack McGee)

Huey Magoo’s, a Florida-based fast casual chicken tender restaurant, is opening the first of five Springfield area locations on Monday, April 17 on East Sunshine Street.

The restaurant dubs its tenders as the “filet mignon and the best 3 percent of the chicken.”

Huey Magoo’s offers fried or grilled chicken served alone, in a wrap, on a salad or in a sandwich. 

The franchise is being brought to Springfield by James Tillman and his wife Lisa, who own a number of local businesses and commercial real estate buildings, including seven First Watch restaurants, two of which are in Springfield. He is also the founder of Complete Electrical Solutions, which is now owned by his son, Michael.

“I was out to find a franchise, and that’s when I found Huey Magoo’s,” James Tillman said.

Tillman said he was initially exploring the possibility of bringing Chicken Salad Chick to Springfield, but someone else ended up opening one before him.

Upon learning more about the company and determining how good of a fit he thought it would be in Springfield, James signed a franchise agreement for five locations in southwest Missouri.

The Huey Magoo’s franchise fee is $35,000, according to their website.

“When I found Huey Magoo’s, I knew it had to have a healthy choice, also,” Tillman said. “That’s something that we have there at Huey Magoo’s over the Raising Cane’s or possibly the Zaxby’s, but especially Raising Cane’s does a good job. 

“We have the salad, the grilled chicken, the lettuce wraps. There’s some other options, some good options, besides just the hand-breaded chicken.”

Huey Magoo’s — located at 3352 E. Sunshine St. — will be open Sunday through Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., with the dining room closing at 9 p.m.

The dining room and drive-thru will open with the restaurant on April 17 for their soft opening. While they will be fully operable beginning on the 17th, Lisa Tillman said a grand opening and ribbon cutting is planned for April 24.

While they are still hiring, the Tillmans said they have enough staff to get the location up and running, with plans to hire 75 employees for that location.

A second location is planned at 5402 N. 23rd St. in Ozark, which they said won’t open until late August. Three other locations have not yet been identified, but they are planning to be in Springfield.

A rendering of the Huey Magoo’s location planned for 5402 N. 23rd St. in Ozark. (Photo provided by Lisa Tillman)

Jack McGee

Jack McGee is the government affairs reporter at the Springfield Daily Citizen. He previously covered politics and business for the Daily Citizen. He’s an MSU graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and a minor political science. Reach him at or (417) 837-3663. More by Jack McGee