A downtown Halifax version of the Chickenburger that’s been dragging its wings for months is finally slated to take flight this spring.

A version of the classic Bedford eatery is opening at 1468 Queen St. on March 10, according to Micco Companies.

Last year, Chickenburger owner Mickey MacDonald, who bought the business in 2007, had predicted the downtown diner would open last summer, and later, last December.

The delays were due to the time it took to get building permits from the city, MacDonald, who heads Micco, said Thursday.

He’s spending about $500,000 refitting a century-old home on Queen Street. J.W. Lindsay Enterprises Ltd. of Dartmouth started the construction work about two months ago.

“Now we’ve got all the approvals done, they’re in there doing the construction,” MacDonald said. “We’re trying to keep that nostalgia look and feel.”

Micco hasn’t done any feasibility studies to see if the Chickenburger will take off downtown, he said.

“This is just sort of a seat-of-the-pants, trying things out. The area down there’s good. There’s lots of construction. The library’s going in across the street. People have been asking for it down there. So it seems to cause a lot of interest anyways.”

A Chickenburger franchise opened just before Christmas at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport. The franchisee is HMSHost, the food and beverage concessionaire at the airport.

Sales have been going “very well” at the airport so far, MacDonald said.

Besides travellers and those waiting for people to arrive, staff at the airport really like the food, said the Halifax entrepreneur.

“I know people from all over the world who have stopped in now in the short period that we’ve been there and they’re trying it out and they sort of like it. So far the reports are all good.”

When asked if there’s been any more interest in the franchise, MacDonald said his company is still trying to figure out if it’s the right direction to take.

“We’re trying to learn as we go here and not to get too overconfident and think that we can do anything we want,” he said. “We want to make sure that we can provide the same level of quality food and service that Chickenburger has come to be known for and be able to transport that to other locations.”

The original Bedford business started as a drive-up canteen in 1940 by Bernice and Jack Innes.

(clambie@herald.ca)