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The Budlong Runs Out Of Biscuits As Nashville Hot Hits Lakeview

60 customers slammed the kitchen in an hour on opening day

The Budlong
The Budlong
Ashok Selvam

Over in Lakeview, the crew from The Budlong were experiencing the tribulations of their first day serving the public. Customers slammed the tiny space that once housed Bunny The Micro Bakery, as the brand-new Nashville hot chicken restaurant served 60 customers in an hour. They ran out of biscuits for lunch, and also complicating matters was that the chicken fryer went down forcing owner Jared Leonard and co. to prepare chicken in the doughnut fryer. Leonard said they'll have more biscuits this evening.

Opening day couldn't come soon enough. Leonard also runs Rub's Backcountry Smokehouse and he's been waiting two years to open Budlong, which was originally slated to open at 4619 N. Western Ave. That Lincoln Square location is still happening, but the Lakeview location will provide Leonard some valuable experience, perhaps giving him a chance to experiment further with the menu and processes.

"Or maybe it becomes the business model," Leonard said.

The Budlong interior

[Photo: Ashok Selvam]

The Budlong has removed Bunny's tables since moving into the space. There's now counter seating on both sides of the narrow restaurant. Tuesday afternoon saw the kitchen busy with so many customer orders that there wasn't enough room to hang the tickets.

How spicy is the chicken? Leonard is staying true to Nashville hot by using cayenne pepper. He has ideas for ghost peppers and others to increase Scoville units, but doesn't want to get away from what makes the chicken special. No, there's no pastrami like Leonard plans for Lincoln Square. For now, they're focusing on a bit of a scaled-down menu, making sure they get things right.

The Budlong, 2928 N. Broadway St., (312) 771-0401, open daily 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., closed Mondays

Bunny The Micro Bakery

2928 N Broadway St, Chicago, IL 60657 Visit Website

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