Well, it looks like chicken is officially trending. First Kristine Subido opened Pecking Order in Uptown. Then a rumor dropped that Stephanie Izard and the Boka boys were looking to launch a chicken chain. And now Element Collective, the team behind Nellcôte and Old Town Social, are readying Leghorn, a socially conscious chicken shop set to open this fall.
The team, Jared Van Camp, Chris Dexter, John Warken and Chris Freeman, is in the final stages of signing the location either in Bucktown, West Town or Logan Square. Regardless of which they land, it will only be approximately 300 square feet, will serve fried chicken sandwiches during lunch only and will have a handful of spots to eat at a counter.
Leghorn, somewhat of a playful nod to cartoon character Foghorn Leghorn, is a more serious tip to the recovery of the Leghorn heritage chicken breed that was nearly wiped out due to industrial farming of their eggs. Van Camp, who won't be the chef but is the concept's culinary director (they're still figuring out who the chef will be), explained they'll only work with small farms to obtain locally sourced chickens that will be butchered daily in house. They'll only have a certain amount of chickens each day, so when they run out of sandwiches that day, that's it.
Diners will have few choices: Southern-style pickle-brined or Nashville hot (rolled in cayenne paste just out of the fryer) boneless chicken, bun or biscuit and breast or thigh. The sandwiches will be served with housemade dill pickles (the brine will be used for the chicken). The Southern-style buttermilk biscuits and soft whole wheat buns will be made with flour milled at Nellcôte. Leghorn will be BYO, but they'll also offer lemon shakeups, simply made to order with lemon juice, sugar, water and ice. Van Camp said they made add additional sides, but they're working on that.
And in somewhat of a stick-it-to-the-corporate-man at a Southern-based chicken chain, Leghorn social consciousness extends to them donating two percent of gross revenue to groups that support gay rights, they'll be open on Sundays, they'll offer free Leghorn-branded condoms at the counter and are "emphatically uninterested in your organized religion, secular religion, agnosticism, atheism or nontheism."
· Getting Her Chicks in a Row: Kristine Subido Opening Pecking Order June 16, Check out the Menu [~EChi~]
· Is Stephanie Izard Launching a Chicken Chain [~EChi~]
· Is Chick-fil-A Anti-gay? [~EChi~]
· Leghorn [website]