Chicken and waffles and a friend’s chicken and cookie sandwich will be on the menu at Coop Chicken + Beer, a pop-up in the Mercantile Room at Wynkoop Brewery, Thursday, August 6, in the Mercantile Room at Wynkoop Brewery in downtown Denver . The chicken and waffles are served with grilled palisade peaches, honey butter from Colorado Chile, and maple syrup. (Rachel Ellis, the Denver Post)

Fried chicken is coming back into the spotlight, and it’s a tasty, and not too expensive, trend that chefs and eaters are leaving behind.

“Chicken is always comforting,” said Amanda Young, who planned the menu for the newly introduced Coop chicken + beer. “There is nothing better than feeling hugged than a plate of fried chicken.”

This calming dish has long soothed the souls of those who eat it in poetic theory, and if there has ever been a time for consolation, it is the pandemic. The chefs agree too, and in the past few months many restaurants have introduced pop-up fried chicken concepts. Some have chosen to keep it on for as long as possible, others have enjoyed the bird’s crispy, greasy sheen for a shorter time.

The latest places to adopt this trend are Adam Branz’s Split lip chicken from Ultreia (1701 Wynkoop St.) at Union Station and the aforementioned Coop Chicken + Beer, which was launched in a function room within the Wynkoop Brewing Company (1634 18th St.). Both started around the same time in late July, and neither should be an integral part – although that can always change.

The fried chicken biscuit sandwich with a side of Colorado Street Corn at The Coop Chicken + Beer, a pop-up in the Mercantile Room of Wynkoop Brewery, on Thursday, August 6, in downtown Denver. The sandwich is topped with Colorado chilli honey butter and homemade pickles. (Rachel Ellis, the Denver Post)

“We thought we just had to do something or we wouldn’t make it,” said Branz, adding that the Ultreia staff and personal friends came up to help make Split Lip a reality. “It actually turned into something just as fun” as Ultreia.

For Branz, Split Lip Chicken is a far cry from the Spanish tapas he prepares at Ultreia. But, he said, it speaks to his childhood and southern roots. Hence the Nashville Hot Fried Chicken theme, which has a Portuguese twist thanks to a spice mix of piri piri pepper and chillies from the local farm Thistle Whistle.

“I just want to fry the chicken and just hang out,” said Branz as he worked in the makeshift mobile kitchen outside of Ultreia. “I’m having a lot of fun with it and I want it to go on as long as possible.”

The name Split Lip comes from his energetic son Arlo and a concept he has envisioned since the restaurants closed in March. After about three months of planning how to do this and working on the recipe right outside the restaurant (because Ultreia doesn’t have a hood and indoor roasting is a smoky affair), Split Lip Chicken is now just handing out hot platters of chicken three levels of spice, matcha tots, Mississippi-style slugburgers and pineapple soda to cool the heat. You can find this pop-up sporadically outside Ultreia and in breweries around town. You can find times and dates on the Instagram page @splt_lip_chx and on homemade punk rock paper planes that make the rounds.

Split Lip Chicken at Ultreia. (Provided by Split Lip Chicken via Linnea Covington)

Nearby, Coop Chicken opened in the Mercantile room, a large space that is usually used to host parties and other events. It is equipped with a table for ordering food, a cooler with drinks and tables sufficiently spaced apart. Take the fried fried chicken (which can be made simple or on sandwiches, salads and pizza) home, eat it there, or order it from the menu if you dine at the brewery. There’s also a market-esque aspect with chicken broth, cookies, fruit bowls, french fries, and pre-packaged side dishes for sale.

“We are very excited to see where it can lead us. Who knows what tomorrow will be like, but we’ll go with the flow and keep it going as long as it makes sense to us, ”said Young, who is also the company’s operations manager. “It could turn into a full-time menu for us.”

Before these two concepts hit the market, Noble Riot’s Troy Bowen decided to distribute fried chicken take away around the wine bar using the kitchen at its sister location, the Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club, which was completely closed during closure .

RELATED: Your Favorite Wine Bar Might Become a Roast Chicken Takeout Place To Help You Survive The Coronavirus Shutdown

“We had plans to do this and had menu tests done in February and March just because fried chicken and champagne are just the best pairings in life,” Bowen said. “We call ourselves a hospitality factory, and the chicken and wine are only part of it.”

The fried chicken was supposed to debut on the new menu, and although it took a while to gain a foothold after being shut down in March, Bowen decided to do it anyway. The whole chicken is gluten-free too, a rare bird when it comes to this particular dish.

Roast chicken at Noble Fry-It, a pop-up in Noble Riot, in March. (Helen H. Richardson, Denver Post File)

“It was a tiny distraction from the craziness that was going on and it worked well and helped us connect with our guests,” said Bowen, who happened to be in the Restaurant Depot when the news of the closure began, said Bowen Warehousing made him possible before the onslaught of people on to-go containers. “Bringing her to your family home is a delicious thing. This is great for people who still want the experience but can’t go out with the kids and the dog and all of those things.”

Shortly after Noble Riot launched its roast chicken, Chef Max MacKissock launched a roast chicken and champagne pop-up at contemporary French restaurant Morin downtown. It took a couple of weeks and there is talk that it will be back. At Pony Up, also downtown, chef Sheamus Feeley and business partner Angela Neri made a bird-and-bubble popup on Sundays.

“We did it because it was comfort food and we had a great recipe,” said Neri, who served the special for about a month before switching to a new concept. The latest was a mission-style burrito popup on August 17th and 18th. “The idea was to feed your family of four a bottle of $ 60 champagne together, which was cool. I think everyone got on the train. “

The trend isn’t over either. Elise Wiggins will start shortly Lil Yellow Chick, something she thought of more about her neighborhood.

“One thing about COVID is that it is so stressful for all of us that it has only changed our world, and I want people to forget about themselves, even if it’s just a few minutes, and have fun while giving theirs Pick up food, “said Wiggins. “It’s also a great comfort meal and a lot of people are happy to have it.”

Like Branz and Feeley, Wiggins also has southern roots and will bring childhood flavors to their new concept. Although Wiggins plans to keep Lil Yellow Chick as a permanent restaurant, she is also feeling the pressures of the economy and the uncertain future of restaurants and opens the new joint in a renovated yellow shasta from 1962 that is outside of Cattivella (10195 E. 29th Drive) is parked. in Central Park (the former Stapleton).

“I thought what if we made a food truck and made it cute and clever and made fried chicken and parked it out here permanently,” said Wiggins, noting the lack of fried chicken and southern food in the area. “I thought this would be a perfect fit, and it made no economic sense to consider opening another restaurant.”

Lil Yellow Chick opens around September 15th.

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Also open soon on August 14th Naughty Chix, owned by the people behind Morning Story. This fried chicken spot plans to open two locations in the already established Morning Story spots in Arvada (8025 Sheridan Blvd.) and Denver (560 S Holly St.) and distribute tenders and sandwiches for fried chicken.

Vogel can be the word that saves restaurants and / or helps them survive the regulations, lack of customers, reduced seating, and other issues that have emerged since COVID-19 became such an issue.

Where else can you get fried chicken right now?

Not every place is open, but these places have great fried chicken to take away and / or to eat at home. Make sure you read up on new hours and procedures, and that each location complies with state protocol for wearing a mask, except when dining at the table.

  • Post Brewing Co.;; multiple locations (postbrewing.com). Make a reservation to dine at one of the four locations, or bring your spicy and / or regular roast chicken with you.
  • Steubens Uptown523 E. 17th Ave., 303-830-1001 (steubens.com). Get hot chicken and regular fried chicken at this uptown location to dine at the restaurant.
  • Tupelo Honey Cafe1650 Wewatta St., 720-274-0650 (tupelohoneycafe.com). Honey-dusted roast chicken is the main bird here, and guests can order a family feast to dine on the downtown restaurant’s terrace.
  • Welton Street Cafe2736 Welton St., 303-296-6602 (no website). Order takeaway at this popular five-point location. It’s one of the best Mediterranean-style fried chicken in town.
  • Working class, 2500 Larimer St., 303-292-0700 (workandclassdenver.com). Every Sunday, chef Dana Rodriguez makes some of the best fried chicken there is. The room is small and has a low capacity. So come early to get the tables that come first and serve first.

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