Fall 2019 was supposed to see the debut of a strangely high number of chicken-focused restaurants; a few did open, but most are still in the works, along with a couple newcomers to this category. Stay tuned for:
Bucktown Chicken & Fish
When this Providence-based spot arrives in Boston’s Mission Hill neighborhood, it’ll feature Southern-inspired comfort food, from fried fish sandwiches to chicken and waffles. The Boston location will be larger than the Providence one and could have an expanded menu (and possibly alcohol) to match. 1522 Tremont St., Mission Hill, Boston. Anticipated opening timeline: Late spring/early summer 2020.
Haley Jane at High Street Place
Yep, more food hall news. (Also see the 2020: Year of the Food Hall, Take Two section below.) One of High Street Place’s vendors, Haley Jane, will feature fried chicken based on popular fried chicken sandwich specials that appear at its big sibling, downtown burger gem Wheelhouse. (Wheelhouse itself will also have a new location at the food hall.) 100 High St., downtown Boston. Anticipated opening timeline: March 2020.
Hen Chicken Rice
One of a couple exciting Thai openings coming to the Boston area this year (also see Another Good Year for Thai Food, Perhaps section below), Hen Chicken Rice will do what many restaurants in Thailand do: Focus on a single dish. That one dish is khao man gai, also known as Hainanese chicken, essentially a dish of poached chicken, seasoned rice, and sauce. The Union Square restaurant, from chef Pong Kansab (Blue Ginger, Grill 23, Smoke Shop), will offer several combinations of chicken, rice, and sauce. 24 Union Sq., Union Square, Somerville. Anticipated opening timeline: February 2020.
This Nashville hot fried chicken pop-up has been ramping up the frequency of its appearances in and around Boston while it gears up to open a permanent location at a yet-to-be-announced address. The fast-casual shop will serve chicken sandwiches as well as appropriate sides, such as mac and cheese and collard greens. Anticipated opening timeline: 2020.
TKK Fried Chicken at Super 88
Shiny new food halls are popping up all over the city (see the 2020: The Year of the Food Hall, Take Two section below), but nothing ever could or will beat the food hall at the Super 88 market in Allston, where diners can get ramen and Uyghur-style hand-pulled noodles and pho. And soon enough, diners will also be able to get fried chicken and something called kwa kwa bao, an invention of the Taiwanese chain TKK Fried Chicken — it’s a ball of sticky rice packed with mushrooms, sealed in chicken skin, and fried. Eater NY critic Robert Sietsma loves this fried chicken chain, which also has a Quincy location. Like the Quincy one, the Super 88 location will be a collaboration with bubble tea chain Kung Fu Tea. 1 Brighton Ave., Allston, Boston. Anticipated opening timeline: Late 2020.
Japan-based yakitori chain Tori Jiro — which specializes in Japanese-style chicken skewers, fried chicken, chicken meatballs, and more — will open its first United States location at the burgeoning Arsenal Yards development in Watertown. (See also: Lots of Japanese Food below.) 485 Arsenal St., Watertown. Anticipated opening timeline: Fall 2020.