Chicken wins over burgers with the opening of Quincy's Chicken Shack, a new casual chicken-themed concept from restaurateur Jason Boso, founder of the Twisted Root burger chain.
The first branch of Quincy's will open in late November in a new development in Coppell, the affluent Dallas County suburb northeast of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. A second branch is already in the works for Mansfield, southeast of Fort Worth.
Quincy's combines a number of emerging trends including chicken, cocktails, and a "backyard" outdoor space, reminiscent of the Truck Yard, the food truck complex on Dallas' Greenville Avenue, which Boso also owns.
The menu is simple, with a family-style meal of chicken, choice of fried or rotisserie-style, and sides that include Romaine salad, corn on the cob, dinner rolls, and potatoes with a dipping sauce, $13.99 per person.
Boso was well ahead of the "better burger" curve when he launched the first Twisted Root in Deep Ellum, but that was way back in 2005.
"All of the trends say that 'chicken is the new burger,'" he says. "But I've had this idea for three years. It just takes some time to get a brand-new thing off the ground."
Aside from the dimming burger trend, Boso was eager for a stretch. "Being a chef, you get bored and want to do something new," he says.
That included devising a clever technique to solve the age-old problem of executing fried chicken successfully. At Quincy's, the fried chicken gets rotisserie'd first, then another quick-fry when someone places an order, to get it to the right temperature and right crust.
"I've done my share of focus groups, asking friends and family, and it almost got me in trouble," Boso says. "There are so many variations on what people think is good fried chicken. I just had to go with what I like and hope others like it, too."
He falls into the camp of less is more. "I don't like it to be all crust," he says. "That's the fence and which side you're on. Some prefer a big, thick crust. I want juicy chicken with a light, crunchy crust."
The signature potatoes are a specialty, as well.
"We're rotisserie-ing the potatoes under the chickens," he says. "They're small potatoes, maybe a single bite or two-bite, and they come with a 'loaded' potato dip."
Cocktails are what he calls "Southern tiki-style," served in funky glasses.
Quincy's will cultivate an inclusive, free-wheeling atmosphere, best exemplified by the help-wanted ads asking for employees with "a style and personality of their own," as long as they are professional and upbeat. "We love green hair, tattoos, piercings, nerds, cheerleaders, hipsters, parents, LGBT, band members, jocks, and everyone else," it says.
Decor-wise, Quincy's follows the lead of Twisted Root and Tacos & Avocados, its sibling taqueria in Roanoke. A bold, rustic design incorporates found objects and recycled items such as lighting fixtures made from bottle caps.
Prices are moderate — the goal is to offer something that's affordable and unique. "This is a patio restaurant. We're talking a dirt floor and bales of hay," he says. "The outdoor area where you sit and eat feels like a barn. I love our chicken, but I think our No. 1 differentiating factor is the atmosphere."