Feb. 25, 2022 By Christian Murray
A large Filipino restaurant chain that is popular for it’s unbattered, deep-fried chicken is opening its first New York City location in Woodside.
Max’s Restaurant, which has 200 locations in the Philippines and 20 in North America, is opening a restaurant at 40-09 69th St., where Rosario’s Ihawan was located in the heart of Little Manila.
The owners anticipate that the restaurant will open in mid-April.
Max’s Restaurant is best known for its fried chicken and is often referred to as “The House That Fried Chicken Built.” The chicken, unlike many of its competitors, isn’t breaded and is deep fried to a crispy golden finish.
The restaurant chain also offers Filipino favorites such as Kare-Kare, Sisig, Liempo- a sizzling pork belly with a smoky flavor, and the classic staples like Pancit Canton egg noodles and Lumpiang Shanghai.
The franchise is owned by the husband-and-wife duo of Andrew and Celeste Ferrer—and will be the third Max’s Restaurant in the Northeast. The pair have ties to the other two– they own a Max’s franchise in Jersey City and their aunt Patricia Berberabe owns a franchise in Bloomfield, NJ.
The duo believe that Max’s Restaurant will succeed in Woodside given the vibrant Filipino population in the area and the chain being a household name in the Philippines.
“The area is a hub for the Filipino community, and we know the neighborhood well,” Andrew, who lives in New Jersey, said. “My wife’s parents lived there, and my wife’s friends do too. We are always there.”
Andrew, who was raised by Filipino immigrants in New Jersey, also has long ties to the Woodside community. He said that his uncle owns Phil-Am, which is located on 70th Street and is one of the best-known Filipino stores in Queens.
Celeste, meanwhile, hails from Cebu City, the second largest metropolitan area in the Philippines, after Manila.
The restaurant will be about 1,500 square feet and will seat approximately 45 to 50 people. The pair also plan to open an outdoor dining area.
The restaurant will also offer delivery.
Max’s Restaurant will open near Jollibee, a global fried chicken chain based out of the Philippines, which has a restaurant at 62-29 Roosevelt Avenue. The Woodside Jollibee opened in 2009 and is one of 1,300 restaurants worldwide.
Max’s Restaurant, however, is also large and has a long history.
The chain’s origins go back to 1945, when Maximo Jimenez– whom the company is named after– hosted American troops at his house near Quezon City and served them drinks and chicken.
He then decided to open a restaurant in the Philippines featuring his niece Ruby’s secret recipe for fried chicken, which became Max’s signature dish.
The company grew and in 1998, Max’s Restaurant started offering franchises.
The Jersey City location opened in 2010, with the Ferrers purchasing it from their aunt in 2019. Jersey City has a strong and large Filipino community.
The Ferrers said that they are looking into opening other franchises in New York. “We are looking at other opportunities. Max’s Restaurants have always got a wonderful response.”