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Nashville Hot Chicken Mini-Chain to Open First South Side Restaurant

The Budlong is taking over the BBQ Supply Co. space in Hyde Park

Budlong
The Budlong is coming to the South Side.
The Budlong [Official photo]

The Budlong, the Nashville hot fried chicken chain with locations in Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, and inside Revival Food Hall in the Loop, plans to open its first South Side location. Fried chicken will replace barbecue in Hyde Park as Budlong will take over the BBQ Supply Co. space. Jared Leonard owns both Budlong and BBQ Supply, and said he’s aiming for a mid-May opening at 1301 E. 53rd Street.

This will be Budlong’s, a fast-casual restaurant that serves spicy fried chicken and biscuits, sixth location. Nashville hot chicken is a style that’s risen in popularity in recent years, with chains following the blueprint developed by places including Prince’s Hot Chicken in Nashville.

The Budlong will serve beer, bourbon, and cocktails on draft. Leonard is hopeful Argus Brewery, the Pullman beer makers, will craft some special beer for the Budlong. The food menu will be similar to other locations, and it’ll also serve weekend brunch. Leonard is debating serving Nashville hot catfish. He does that at the Denver location of the Budlong, and said it would make sense to test the item out in Hyde Park if he wanted to bring it to Chicago.

Leonard moved to Denver where he’s also opened a barbecue restaurant. Being away from Hyde Park was one of the reasons BBQ Supply wasn’t as successful as he wanted. Leonard is the pit master and the recipes are his. Without him overseeing the quality, it was difficult in maintaining consistency. BBQ Supply closed in March; it opened in October 2017 in Hyde Park. The shutter also marked the end of Leonard’s barbecue endeavors in Chicago. He closed his original barbecue in November in Rogers Park. In summer 2018, he wrapped up his barbecue retreats, which were vacations for barbecue enthusiasts in Wisconsin.

He’ll have a few cosmetic changes and install new equipment in Hyde Park, but it should be a quick turnaround. University of Chicago officials are encouraging restaurateurs to open near its campus, and that’s who courted Leonard. Originally, Leonard wanted to open a Budlong instead of a barbecue, he said. He’s been looking at other locations in neighborhood.

“We’re excited to bring the brand to the South Side, the first one south of the Loop,” Leonard said.

Stay tuned for news about an opening date in the coming weeks.

BBQ Supply Co.

2180 South Delaware Street, , CO 80223 (720) 815-5571 Visit Website

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