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Bravo's Top Chef Season 15 competitor Chris Scott recently closed his Brooklyn restaurants, Butterfunk Kitchen and adjacent sister property Sumner’s Luncheonette. But fans of the chef's food will hardly have to wait long to get another taste: As we reported yesterday, Chris and his team are set to open Birdman Juke Joint in Bridgeport, Connecticut — and the chef told The Feast exclusively about his plans.
Chris joined us on the phone from Connecticut, where he was busily preparing to debut the first taste of Birdman's cuisine at a popup, set for tonight at The Cook and the Bear restaurant in West Hartford. Birdman's own space is getting its finishing touches, and Chris expects a late February opening.
In Chris' own words, "It’s going to be along the theme of other legendary chicken shacks in the south. It’ll be like Hattie B’s or Todd Richards' place, you know — or Prince’s Hot Chicken."
He added, "It’s bringing a lot of authenticity and a lot of realness — it's beyond the chicken and waffle spaces that you see in the North. We're keeping it really southern, keeping it really authentic, the way that it’s supposed to be."
Why Connecticut? Well, it's pretty simple, really: logistics... and dollars and cents. "Our investor is from here. We wanted to do it in Philadelphia where I’m from but the cost [was prohibitive]. The liquor licenses in Philadelphia costs $275,000 just for that. Right away, that would’ve put us so deep in the hole before we even bought a single knife or fork," he explained.
And what's behind the curious name? "The name Birdman tells the story of the individual during free time and slave time, of the individual that tended to the birds, the individual that raised the chickens from egg to slaughter, built the coops, tended after them, fed them, kept them away from the fox," he told The Feast. "It tells the story of that individual during those days, and at the same time providing the best fried chicken in the North."
Birdman's Instagram bio sums it up this way: "Telling the story of the chicken farmer during the antebellum era, while serving the best damn Fried Chicken north of the Mason Dixon line."
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