Former DJ Clarke says he wants to “create a cool space for people to enjoy next level cocktails and beers with their fried chicken alongside wicked tunes”.
The menu is to be revamped too, with new dishes including kimchi pancakes with fried chicken and Chengdu buffalo sauce; Chongqing crispy rice sticks; Viet Cajun fried chicken; and the fondue-like fried chicken queso.
The newly dug out basement space will see the restaurant’s total covers increase from 35 to 65. Chick ‘n’ Sours Haggerston will be open from Wednesday to Sunday (evenings only Wednesday and Thursday).
The move comes as owners Carl Clarke and David Wolanski look to bring their fast casual CHIK’N brand more in line with Chick ’n’ Sours.
The Baker Street restaurant will retain its name and fast food-style operational model when it re-opens later this week with a menu that is more eclectic and less mainstream than the original, which was quite safe by Clarke and Wolanksi’s standards.
The new menu includes the Brick Lane E1 burger (CHIK’N mayo, masala shake, tamarind glaze, coronation slaw); and the Cali Hock Chick burger (guacamole, chipotle mayo, fajita shake, lettuce, cheese).
The pair say the inaugural CHIK’N - which was conceived as a mainstream yet higher quality and more ethical alternative to KFC and low quality independent chicken shops - has been a success, and that the changes are being made because “the brand was not representative of who or what we are”.
“For us it wasn’t reflective of the soul of Chick ‘n’ Sours, our people and our values,” says Clarke. “We also felt shackled creatively. It was okay. It just wasn’t anything exciting. We’re not in the business of making things that are just okay.”
The pair say a second CHIK’N is likely to open before the year is out, along with another Chick ‘n’ Sours restaurant.