Look out, River North: Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken is opening a second Chicago location. The Memphis, Tennessee fried chicken chain has a liquor license for a space on the northeast corner of State and Kinzie streets. Gus’s opened its first Chicago location three years ago on Fulton Market. Like that location, this restaurant will be run by franchisee Zack Sklar, the Michigan-based restaurateur behind Bernie’s Lunch & Supper in River North.
Sklar, who owns several restaurants in Michigan part of his Peas & Carrots Hospitality, confirmed that he was behind the Chicago’s second Gus’s. He didn’t say when the restaurant would open. The liquor license is for the first floor of 401 N. State Street. That building includes a parking garage with a rental car spot.
Gus’s crispy fried chicken comes with a hint of spice and is surprisingly not greasy. Food comes on styrofoam plates (though, the company pledged to go foam free by next year), and there are basic sides like baked beans, cole slaw, and macaroni and cheese. The Fulton Market location was the first to have a full bar, and with a liquor license in hand it’s not hard to imaging a similar set up in River North.
Founded in 1953, the chicken chain has 25 locations in 11 states. Messages to Gus’s marketing department weren’t immediately returned. Gus’s is a game changer for fried chicken lovers downtown. Come back for updates.