Last we heard of Jared Brewington and his Official Fried Chicken shop, things were going well. People were loving the tech-aided fast pick up of broaster fried chicken, which allowed you to order on your phone and just show up for hot and crispy bird grabbed from special heated lockers.
But their building switched ownership not long after opening, and the new owners were less than thrilled with the restaurant. “They kept wanting us to get to zero-chicken-smell,” Brewington told me. “That’s not really possible.” So they closed and decided to move instead of staying for what was sure to be a long battle.
Fans have been emailing me wondering where it went, and I only got the answer yesterday.
OFC has re-opened as a pickup and delivery spot in the lesser-known Curie Food Hall in downtown Minneapolis. It’s a cloud kitchen (let’s be done with ghost kitchen, hmm? no one died for these fries) which means there are lots of small kitchen bays where independent concepts are churning out online orders for pickup or delivery: mostly Door Dash, Bite Squad or their third party ilk. More on that in a min.
Brewington, and his trusted chicken chef Chloe McGee, have brought on some new partners and have learned a few things. The menu has expanded, you can still get that bone-in crispy bird, but you can also now get chicken tenders and a new chicken sandwich that has the correct amount of pickles and sauce to bird ratio. And: scoopy fries! “People said our Buffalo flavor was not hot enough to call it “Buffalo” so we amped it up.” They did. I tried it. It’s a lip-tingler.
Another new part of the business is their relationship with Foodsby, which is a corporate lunch system that allows offices to order lunch early in the day and have it delivered. Talk about luring your workforce back, just set out a conference table’s worth of fried chicken as bait.
Now about Currie Food Hall. This place has been operating for a while, but since it’s delivery and pickup only, it’s more of a hub and not a destination (though there are a few seats in the pickup area). They’re giving it a fresh coat of paint and hoping to push its visibility a bit more as it’s rather hiding off of 11th St, behind the bus depot. There are A LOT of fun looking concepts on their roster. I am drawn to the F#ck Gluten and F#ck Carbs menu personalities (you know I love a well-placed swear), but also the Pupuseria El Rincon Salvadoreño, All Nigeria Cuisine, Sista Shuga Shack, and Moonbowls (Healthy Korean Bowls). Most places are focused on evening delivery.
Brewington tells me that there’s a great community vibe in the space, lots of small independent operators who don’t have the money to launch full-scale restaurants, necessarily, but are working on creating loyalty and building their brands through delivery. North Loop apartment dwellers are a big business for this site, but delivery is typically further than downtown. You can order directly on the site for pickup yourself too, there are a few parking spots near the building and on the road if you want to grab and go.
For the Foodsby deliveries, Brewington is doing it himself, but otherwise he’s relying on the third-party systems for now. Though, things are afoot. Brewington has large scale plans that include expansion and franchise possibilities. He hinted at some more big news to come very soon, so we’ll just sit here chomping chicken while we wait.
OFC now ready to come to your door!
March 9, 2023