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London Burger Brand Makes Lockdown Nando’s Rip-Off a Permanent Fixture

Patty and Bun finds itself a permanent home for pandemic delivery brand Sidechick

Burger brand Patty and Bun created a chicken business called Side Chick during the coronavirus lockdown in London and has just found a permanent home for the restaurant on Marylebone’s James’s Street which will open this summer
Side Chick’s chicken
Side Chick [Official Photo]

Patty and Bun, one of London’s most popular homegrown burger brands, has found a permanent home for its lockdown chicken delivery brand Sidechick, it announced this week.

Sidechick emerged as an off-shoot of the wildly popular citywide burger chain founded by Joe Grossman in 2012 — piloted through restaurant delivery juggernaut Deliveroo last June, iterating on an even more wildly successful brand than their own: Nando’s. Sidechick offers butterflied, marinated chicken with piri piri alongside butterflied, marinated chicken seasoned with butter, herb, and lemon. Where Nando’s grills, it roasts.

The restaurant, split over two floors with an open kitchen and outdoor terrace comprising 70 covers all-in, is expected this summer, once restaurants are permitted to reopen after restrictions are lifted in mid-May. Grossman said the site, which sits next door to the original Patty and Bun restaurant on James Street in Marylebone was “absolutely perfect” for Sidechick’s debut.

“The overwhelmingly positive response to our delivery-only service during the spring-summer 2020 lockdown encouraged us to source a permanent location,” Grossman said. “Hospitality faces an uncertain future, so we are doing all we can to create jobs and bring diners new concepts to look forward to in the coming weeks, months, and years.”

Chicken has emerged as one of the most successful lockdown (delivery) dishes: Familiar, comforting, comparatively cheap, the ability to embellish what is in essence a blank protein canvas has seen many restaurants default to lowest common denominator food economics in the past 12 months. Creating something with mass appeal that is likely to sell took on a new kind of importance with restaurants in survival mode as of last spring.

Chicken dishes have spanned the restaurant spectrum since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis: Chef Jackson Boxer included roast chicken in Orasay’s opening delivery menu last April; Michelin-starred Shoreditch restaurant Leroy created a new rotisserie chicken-only restaurant brand in May; NYC chef Daniel Humm included a souped-up fried chicken effort in Davies and Brook’s delivery menu last autumn; Snackbar’s Freddie Janssen has been riffing on fast food creations like Doritos fried chicken sandwiches; while the poultry crown has probably landed on the head of Quality Wines’ Nick Bramham, who launched Arrosto in January this year.

The confirmation that an established London brand has acquired a central London site is also another indication of the work being done behind the scenes in advance of reopening next month. Following news that Harts Group would open a branch of its Mexican-inspired El Pastor on a premium Soho site this summer, as well as JKS’s restaurants’ acquisition of Andina in Shoreditch for Bao, the Taiwanese restaurant group it part-owns, it is worth monitoring to what extent the city’s property market is going to change in the wake of this crisis, or whether London will simply carry on rewarding and promoting that with which it is most familiar. A hypey burger brand putting some Nando’s-adjacent chicken right next to its most central restaurant looks like another win for the latter.

Orasay

31 Kensington Park Road, , England W11 2EU 020 7043 1400 Visit Website

Spring

Lancaster Place, , England WC2R 1LA 020 3011 0115 Visit Website

BAO

590 Valencia Street, , CA 94110 (415) 658-7453 Visit Website

El Pastor

6-7A Stoney Street, , England SE1 9AA Visit Website

Leroy

18 Phipp Street, , England EC2A 4NU 020 7739 4443 Visit Website

Snackbar

20 Dalston Lane, London, E8 1GY

Davies and Brook

Brook Street, , England W1K 4HR 020 7107 8848 Visit Website

Quality Wines

88 Farringdon Road, , England EC1R 3EA 020 3602 8115 Visit Website

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