Humboldt Park’s retro burger spot Lucy’s, known and loved for serving one of the best fried chicken sandwiches in the city, plans to open a new Uptown restaurant next month. The new location will feature a similar menu of spicy chicken sandwiches, Juicy Lucy burgers, and hand-cut fries, as well as a few new additions and experiments such as salads and breakfast sandwiches that owners describe as “simple, straightforward, and delicious.” The Uptown restaurant will also contain a bar, a first for Lucy’s, that owners hope to debut a few months — or whenever their liquor license is approved — after the opening on February 11.
If there’s one good thing to come out of the Popeye’s mayhem of 2019, it’s that fried chicken sandwiches are back in the public eye and the subject of much passionate debate. Lucy’s serves theirs on a brioche bun with coleslaw, pickles, and a slice of American cheese, with the option to dial the heat up or down. For those with fried chicken fatigue, however, there are five burgers to choose from, including an Impossible Burger, as well as a barbecue pork sandwich. Fries come in three varieties: “golden” (lightly salted), doused in cheddar sauce, or “porky” (smoked pork shoulder, bacon, cotija, pickled jalapeños).
The Uptown location will also feature milkshakes and soft serve, and once the bar opens, boozy shakes will be on the menu as well. Husband-and-wife team Damian and Jessica Warzecha said they’re still developing the drink menu, but want to keep it limited and affordable, with simple mixed drinks that cost around $7 or $8.
The Warzechas say they’ve been working “around the clock” to get the 2,000 square-foot restaurant in tip-top shape. It’ll draw on the same midcentury pin-up girl aesthetic as the Humboldt Park original, with murals from local artist Jeff Zimmerman, whose recent work includes a prominent Andy Warhol-esque portrait of Marilyn Monroe overlooking North Michigan Avenue. His murals will appear both inside and outside the restaurant, a move that Damian Warzecha said aims to weave the neighborhood and restaurant together. The restaurant will seat around 50, with 10 spots at the bar. It’s situated beside the Wilson Red and Purple Line station, just a short walk from the Riviera Theater and historic Green Mill lounge.
The couple founded a food truck in 2013, which they still operate, in addition to the Humboldt Park restaurant they opened four years later. Damian Warzecha credits the truck with helping Lucy’s take off in Chicago, and said that while he’s happy about Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan to double food truck parking time in the city, it likely won’t change much about his day-to-day mobile operations. “We’ve been in the food truck business for six years, and we’ve learned to adapt to current laws so I don’t know if we’re going to feel the extension,” he said. “But it’s definitely a move in the right direction and we’re happy about it.”
Lucy’s, 4570 N. Broadway Street, Slated to open February 11.