Two new fried chicken shops which are both attempting to affect the perception of the fast food product will open in Soho this month. Carl Clarke, creator of Chick n Sours and fast food “fried chicken sandwich joint like no other” Chik’n, will open the second branch of the latter with his business partner David Wolanski on Wardour Street next week, while street food trader Coqfighter will debut its first sit-down restaurant on Beak Street at the end of the month.
Clarke will open Chik’n, on the former site of Brgr, on the morning of Wednesday 22 May. His mission is to serve a more socially conscious version of “incredibly crispy fried chicken.” “In fact, we think its the best in the world, but hey, that’s up to you to decide!!”
In addition to favouring high-welfare meat, not stocking mass-produced commodity products, Clarke and Wolanski have gone big on “putting preventative measures in place around depression and anxiety by taking steps to make [staff] feel included, have a voice, and create a happy working environment for them.” There is a deliberate effort to employ young people, more women, and to institute training programmes.
Clarke, who develops the recipes, said previously that he has “obsessed over the frying process to keep elevating the product,” with the team is now using the latest technology and state of the art pressure fryers to achieve “#nextlevel” crunch.
Meanwhile, as first reported by Hot Dinners, Coqfighter which has operated sites in the half-way restaurant set ups at Boxpark in Shoreditch and Croydon, will launch its first table-service restaurant on Wednesday 29 May.
Australian trio Troy Sawyer, Deacon Rose, and Tristan Clough created the brand in 2014 “having just moved to London from Melbourne – a city well known for its outstanding late-night fried chicken joints.” They are said to have been “amazed to find that although fried chicken was seemingly everywhere, the really great life-changing stuff was difficult to find!”
The new 40-cover site — described as an “intimate bijou restaurant finished with a playful mid-century vibe — will replace Ma Plucker at 75 Beak Street and feature various versions of fried chicken, including a pan-Asian-bingo sandwich described thus: “fried chicken bao with szechuan mayo, pickled daikon, coriander, and Korean hot sauce.”
Elsewhere there’s the honey ginger buffalo Bburger with smoked garlic mayo, house pickles and honey ginger buffalo sauce; vodka and sesame battered wings with sweet soy glaze and Korean hot sauce; drumsticks with XO chicken gravy and Szechuan salt; and cheesy corn.
Ahead of the debut, Co-founder Deacon Rose said: “Before we even moved to London we always admired the incredible food scene here. Soho has something really special about it - there’s nowhere quite like it. We knew early doors that we had to open a restaurant in the area. It was our dream, and to be able to do it within a few years of starting out in pop ups, has been an amazingly spicy ride for us... We can’t wait!”