This Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers restaurant opened in Fairfield last month. FILE PHOTO

BREAKING: Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers confirms it’s coming to Dayton

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers — which crept closer to the Dayton area last month with a new restaurant in Fairfield — will enter the Dayton market in the coming months with at least two, and perhaps as many as four, new locations.

Raising Cane’s spokeswoman Andria Morgan confirmed to this news outlet today that the Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based chain’s Ohio franchisee is scheduled to finalize details today on its first Dayton-area location, at 1136 Miamisburg-Centerville Road (Ohio 725) in Washington Twp. The space most recently housed the Golden Dragon Buffet & Grill, and, before that, a Ryan’s Steakhouse.

And the franchisee is close to inking a deal on North Fairfield Road in Beavercreek for a second Raising Cane’s location, Morgan said. Plans call for the Ohio 725 location to open as early as June 2017, with the Beavercreek restaurant following perhaps a month later in July, the Raising Cane’s spokeswoman said.

“We are still looking at other properties” to continue the chain’s expansion in the Dayton area, Morgan said.

Robert Zavakos — senior vice president of the commercial real estate firm NAI Bergman who is overseeing the Dayton-area site selection for Raising Cane’s — said other potential restaurant sites may include the Kettering, University of Dayton, and Miller Lane areas.

Morgan said Raising Cane’s Ohio franchisee, RCO Limited, has found a welcoming and very loyal customer base as it has opened stores in the southern half of the state. In 2004, the franchisee opened the first Raising Cane’s outside of Louisiana in Columbus, Ohio. Raising Cane’s now operates more than 500 restaurants nationwide, including 21 in Ohio, mostly in the Columbus area and Cincinnati area. Its Fairfield store opened a month ago at 5120 Dixie Highway.

The chain prides itself on a limited menu and a simple concept, focused on chicken fingers, made “fresh, never frozen,” marinated for 24 hours, then hand-battered and cooked to order. Also featured on the menu are crinkle-cut fries, cole slaw, Texas Toast and sauces that are made in-house every day.

The Raising Cane’s franchisee is aware of the robust — and growing — competition among chicken restaurants in the Dayton area, but is confident it will attract a following. “Raising Cane’s has carved out its own niche,” Morgan said.

News of Raising Cane’s entry into the Dayton market comes on the same day the Dayton area’s first Mike’s Nashville Hot opens in the Austin Landing development in Miami Twp., and a second location is preparing to open in mid-January in Centerville. Meanwhile, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is gearing up to more than double its footprint in the Dayton area, starting with a new restaurant in Springboro, and Chick-fil-A is building a new restaurant in front of Town & Country Shopping Center in Kettering.