By: Sherry Williams Kidd | Twitter: @PGJournal
Posted: April 10, 2019 | 12:30 p.m.
VIRGINIA – Central Virginia has welcomed its newest eating establishment, Chicken Select.
On Friday, March 29, community residents, friends, neighbors, and well-wishers joined owners, James and Deborah Nelson, for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony of their new business, Chicken Select. The restaurant is in a location very familiar to many residents of Hopewell and surrounding counties. It is in the location of the former Mr. B’s Restaurant, 15th Street Café, and even further back, way back, it was Frank’s Drive-In. Chicken Select is located at 1-7 South 15th Avenue, Hopewell, Virginia 23860.
“Several years ago, I suffered from two heart attacks, and they were followed by a stroke,” said James Nelson. My doctors and the hospital nutritionist told me I would have to completely change my lifestyle, especially the way I was eating. I had to drastically cut down on my intake of salt, and begin eating more vegetables, fruits, and salads. I immediately began looking around at area restaurants and checking out their ingredients. I searched for two years, but I couldn’t find a single place that used all healthy ingredients, drastically reduced salt, and substituted spices and herbs, to make food that was not only really good but also really good for you. I prayed about it and the Lord told me if I couldn’t find such a place, to create one. I have done that with Chicken Select.”
Chicken Select serves traditional southern fare in a most untraditional way. They have all of our favorites on the menu, such as fried chicken, which is pressure-fried instead of traditional frying; roasted chicken; and sides such as macaroni and cheese, baked beans, cole slaw, potato wedges, broccoli, green beans, rice, salads, and cheesecake, homemade cakes, and banana pudding. Their sandwich and wraps menu is extensive, with such offerings as the chicken club, grilled or fried; turkey club; chicken Philly, with sautéed onions and peppers, corned beef sandwich special; wraps of every description; and so much more. There are fantastic salads of every kind. There is also salmon, chicken Alfredo, chops, completely meatless dishes that are tremendous, and so many other totally delicious options. The dishes are homemade, amazing, and no one, not even Grandma, will be able to tell that they have reduced the salt, and added special herbs and spices that makes the food so delicious! In a word, the food is simply superb.
James Nelson is originally from Mississippi. He came to Virginia in 1980 to visit family. One of his relatives suggested that he could earn a few dollars if he went into work with him for a few days. Within a week, the boss on the job was so impressed with Nelson’s work ethic, that he offered him a full-time position. Nelson’s relative indicated that he had an extra room and that he could live there for a nominal fee each week. Nelson said he was making a lot more money than he had been earning in Mississippi. He accepted his relative’s offer. Before long, he was able to purchase his own transportation. He continued to move up the chain, in various positions. Time went by, and he married and began his own family. Nelson is blessed with five children, one of whom is deceased, and 13 grandchildren. James and Deborah Nelson and their family currently reside in Colonial Heights.
Chicken Select will be open Monday through Saturdays and closed on Sundays. If you try their food even once, you will come back time-and-time again.
The Nelsons are rather busy on Sundays. James and Deborah Nelson began a ministry earlier this year. James is Senior Pastor at the Spirit of Christ Evangelistic Church, located at 3323-E South Crater Road, Petersburg.
“People will see that food can be good, really good, and still be good for you,” Nelson said. “The Lord willing, this Chicken Select in Hopewell will be the first of many.”