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United Center Adds Two of Chicago’s Essential Restaurants to its Lineup

Honey Butter Fried Chicken and Mindy’s HotChocolate come to the home of the Bulls and Blackhawks

Honey Butter Fried Chicken_FriedChicken
Honey Butter Fried Chicken is coming to the United Center.
Honey Butter Fried Chicken [Official Photo]
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

It’s still early in Chicago’s hockey and basketball seasons, but it doesn’t bode well as the Blackhawks have already fired their coach, and the Bulls are bracing for another lottery pick. At least the United Center’s food will get upgrades thanks to the pending additions of two Eater Chicago 38 members: Honey Butter Fried Chicken and Mindy’s HotChocolate. The other bit of news is Giordano’s is now the UC’s official stadium pizza, displacing Connie’s. It’s been a long road since the arena’s dark DiGiorno days, true believers.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken in Avondale makes some of Chicago’s best fried chicken, serving its skin-free birds with a side of honey butter. Co-owners and chefs Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp are making moves. Earlier this year, they unveiled a Cubano pop-up at Revival Food Hall in the Loop and they’re hoping to expand and open more restaurants. Honey Butter also popped up this year at Wrigley Field.

Cikowski, who is in New York with Kulp for a weekend event at the James Beard House, said they are still finalizing the menu, but expect fried chicken sandwiches, nachos, and fried chicken strips. A spokesperson said they’ll also offer loaded waffle fries exclusively to the United Center. HBFC should start serving fans in December; they’re taking over the stand formerly occupied by Leghorn Chicken on the arena’s main concourse near section 115. That also means fans will say goodbye to Leghorn’s kale salad, one of the only solid healthy options in the arena.

Chicago’s dessert lovers know chef Mindy Segal, the owner of Mindy’s HotChocolate in Bucktown. She won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2012. Besides running her restaurant, she also has a stand inside Revival. HotChocolate’s baked goods will only be available for club ticket holders at sections 216 and 233. They’ll also be available inside executive suites and at “all-inclusive clubs.” They’ll also sell chocolate packs to go. Segal also has a line of edibles. Perhaps she should talk to Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker.

Giordano’s, which counted former Bulls star Derrick Rose as an investor, will be available near section 120 and at various spots throughout the UC. The arena has also freshened up its cocktail offerings on the club level. “Chicago Pours” has added new bars Neon Wilderness and Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods to its cocktail roster that includes MONEYGUN, Sportsman’s Club, and Lottie’s.

It’s a little spark for the United Center which earlier this year debuted Queenie’s Supper Club, a full-service restaurant that’s open to non-ticket holders. Another addition this year comes from Big Star as they’ve added electronic order kiosks to the 100-level restaurant.

United Center

1901 West Madison Street, , IL 60612

Neon Wilderness

1270 North Milwaukee Avenue, , IL 60622 Visit Website

Leghorn Chicken

600 N LaSalle St, Chicago, IL (312) 944-4444 Visit Website

Mindy’s HotChocolate

1747 North Damen Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 489-1747 Visit Website

Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods

1415 North Wood Street, , IL 60622 (773) 360-8320 Visit Website

Honey Butter Fried Chicken

3361 North Elston Avenue, , IL 60618 (773) 478-4000 Visit Website