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Luella’s Bucktown Debuts Today With Unique Fried Chicken and Weekend Brunch

Look inside Luella’s Gospel Bird, chef/owner Darnell Reed’s followup to his Lincoln Square restaurant

Luella’s Gospel Bird is about more than fried chicken, but there’s stand-out fried chicken.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago
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.

Luella’s Gospel Bird opens today in Bucktown to serve fried chicken and weekend brunch in a casual little space at 2009 N. Damen Avenue. It’s a success story for chef/owner Darnell Reed, an independent restaurateur who opened his first spot, Luella’s Southern Kitchen, in 2015 in Lincoln Square. The restaurant’s name is inspired by the book Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time. The phrase “gospel bird” refers to fried chicken as a meal to celebrate special occasions for African-Americans in the South.

Reed’s Lincoln Square restaurant earned Michelin Bib Gourmand recognition last year. In Bucktown, he’ll serve three types of chicken: the signature Gospel Bird with a tangy sauce, fried chicken without the sauce, and a smoked jerk variety. Reed’s also excited about brunch which starts this weekend. Shrimp and grits, chicken-fried short rib with biscuits and gravy, and chicken and waffles are part of the menu.

Take a look at the space and the food below. Luella’s Gospel Bird, which has taken over the the former Sublime Sushi space, opens today.

Luella’s Gospel Bird, 2009 N. Damen Avenue, (773) 904-7704, open noon to 9 p.m. on weekdays; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for weekend brunch; 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. for weekend dinner.

A storefront of a restaurant with a hanging sign.
Luella’s Gospel Bird has taken over the Sublime Sushi space.
A storefront window with a large sticker that reads “Luella’s Gospel Bird.”
This is ownership’s second restaurant, and now customers get to meet Luella.
It’s a tidy space with counter service, just like Luella’s Southern Kitchen in Lincoln Square.
Customers can people watch from these window seats.
Make some friends over chicken at the communal table.
Here’s the menu, including brunch starting immediately.
A view of the counter.
Fried chicken with collards.
“The Gospel” is fried chicken slathered with a tangy glaze. Served with candied yams.
Smoked chicken.

Luella's Gospel Bird

2009 North Damen Avenue, , IL 60647 (773) 904-7704 Visit Website