In the age of coronavirus, a new eatery will be opening its doors

Hunnie's Crispy Chicken opens May 1.
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Grand Opening—it’s been quite a while since we’ve heard that phrase, but come this Friday, that is exactly what is happening in Center City. Philadelphia’s newest southern-inspired hotspot, Hunnie’s Crispy Chicken, will be opening its doors this week and will be firing up its grills for delivery and take-out service just in time for the weekend. 

The new establishment comes from Derek Gibbons and Tim Lu, co-founders of Glu Hospitality. Glu, like many other companies, has had to make some difficult decisions, including hitting the pause button for some of their other venues such as Vesper Dayclub and Pool, Vesper Center City and the newly-opened cocktail hotspot Leda and The Swan. But with the setbacks, the duo behind Glu has decided to use this time to launch something new and bring a bit of much needed good news. 

“We had been wanting to launch a crispy chicken concept for a long time especially as we are such fans of Chef [Chino] Chang’s rice flour chicken recipes,” said co-owner Derek Gibbons in a release. “When the global pandemic hit and our nightlife concepts had to close, this left us with the time to give this new concept the attention and resources it needed to be successful. This also allowed us to pivot and find a new direction during this crisis for the food and drink industry. Already, we had been making major moves to cross over from drink and nightlife to more food-focused concepts. We have two major grand openings we are partners in that are waiting to open. This continues that direction in a whole new way and lets us continue to keep some of our chefs and kitchen staff employed during this time. We hope to grow the brand, expand hours, expand pick-up to Northern Liberties and launch Hunnie’s in other markets. We are already in talks to open another Hunnie’s and partner with other restaurants in other markets who are experiencing the same types of challenges we are here in Philadelphia. We hope to send out our crispy fried chicken with love not just in Philly, but all over the country.”

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Hunnie’s will offer an enticing array of crispy chicken comfort food favorites from Chef Chino Chang including sandwiches (think crispy chicken, buffalo, caesar and chicken and waffle), salads, fries, plus a few specialty items such as crispy chicken tenders, crispy chicken wings and crispy cauliflower bites. But what’s all of that chicken without some sauce? Hunnie’s also offers a smattering of condiments, some of which are made in house including its buffalo, mustard, chipotle BBQ and special sauce. 

“Launching a new food concept at this time is definitely a challenge but keeps our kitchen team and staff busy and working harder than ever,” said Gibbons in the release. “Our starter menu features Chef’s homemade rice-flour recipes that give the chicken a lite and crunchy exterior, with a moist and flavorful inside. We wanted to offer popular and favorite chicken dishes that are comforting to everyone during the most stressful of times. It was also an important goal for our new brand to remain affordable and smartly priced. We understand what everyone is going through — our own staff and families are going through it too. We wanted to offer something delicious, accessible and affordable.” 

Those interested in trying out the new hotspot can order pick-up or delivery (in certain areas) starting at 2 p.m. this Friday, May 1. For the time being, Hunnie’s days and hours of operations will be Wednesday-Sunday from 2 to 8 p.m. Contactless pick-up in Center City will be available by calling 267-699-7733, and delivery will start on Grub Hub and Door Dash, and will then expand to other delivery platforms in the near future. 

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But the comfort-food eatery isn’t the only new concept from Glu. According to the release, on top of launching Hunnie’s Crispy Chicken, Glu Hospitality also announced the launch of We Cooked, a meal prep and delivery service aimed to bring affordable, smartly priced food to Center City, along with beer and wine delivery and take-out. As part of the new concept, for every $10 donation, We Cooked and Glu Hospitality will send free meals to Feed the Frontline and healthcare heroes at local hospitals. We Cooked is available through the Vesper Kitchen as well and runs from 2 to 8 p.m. daily. Details and menus are available at wecooked.com, and to donate to Feed the Frontline, click “Experience” on the We Cooked website. 

For more information on Hunnie’s Crispy Chicken, visit hunniescrispychicken.com.

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