Ali hopes his chicken is a knockout


Following the leads of Kenny Rogers, Col. Harlan Sanders and Roy Rogers, boxing great Muhammad Ali will put his name on the marquee of a chicken restaurant chain, officials for the new company said yesterday.

Muhammad Ali's Rotisserie Chicken, based in Baltimore, intends to open its first store in Silver Spring in August, said spokesman Matt Amodeo.

The company wants to open five more locations in the Baltimore-Washington area "and then branch out nationally," Mr. Amodeo said.

The president and chief executive of the company is Talib Rashada, a food wholesaler who lives in Ellicott City. Mr. Amodeo described him as a longtime associate of the former heavyweight champion.

Mr. Rashada was unavailable for comment yesterday, and Mr. Amodeo said he was unable to offer more information.

Rotisserie chicken is one of the hottest concepts in restaurants, as evidenced by KFC and Roy Rogers having added it to their menus, Boston Chicken's pricey over-the-counter stock and Kenny Rogers Roasters' rapid expansion in Maryland and elsewhere.

The first store will be in Silver Spring's City Place.

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