Food News

Lewellyn's Chicken & Biscuits: John Kunkel Expands Empire

50 Eggs' John Kunkel is on a world-domination binge.

Fresh on the heels of the announcement of his new BTW restaurant in the former Lime Space on Alton Road, the restaurateur/entrepreneur is planning a fast-casual fried chicken restaurant.

See also: BTW (Burgers, Tacos, Whiskey) to Open Thursday in Former Lime Spot

According to the Wall Street Journal article "The Chipotle Effect," which features fine-dining chefs and restaurateurs who are opening casual establishments and chain restaurants, 50 Egg's Kunkel plans to open two branches of the chicken restaurant.

The first location will open at the University of Miami this summer. A second spot will follow at Miami International Airport.

A spokesperson for 50 Eggs said the restaurant will be located "on U.S. 1 just off campus," and there is no firm opening date or menu set.

The Journal says Kunkel wants to do for fried chicken what Shake Shack has done for burgers. "If you're going to do something, specialize, and do it better than everyone else."

The chicken recipe, which was handed down from his grandmother, will be the same as the one used at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar. Both the Yardbird chicken dish (Lewellyn's Fine Fried Chicken) and the new chain are named for Kunkel's grandmother.

If you want a taste of Lewellyn's fried chicken, the restaurant will be at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival's Chicken Coupe, which takes place Saturday, February 21, from 7 to 10 p.m. in the W Hotel ballroom.

The WSJ article mentions other chefs taking a stab at the "Chipotle effect," including José Andrés, who will open Beefsteak at Washington, D.C.'s George Washington University, and Joshua Skenes, who is opening an affordable Asian noodle chain in San Francisco where bowls of hand-pulled Chinese noodles will be offered for around eight bucks -- a far cry from his restaurant Saison, where tasting meals run about $500 per person.

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss