A sign recently popped up on a former East Brookside restaurant space that quickly caught the attention of passersby.
Now chef Charles d’Ablaing is ready to share a few details on his new Brookside Poultry Co. He plans an early January opening in the 1,500-square-foot space at 408 E. 63rd St., which was formerly home to Oak 63 Bistro.
The family-friendly restaurant will serve a limited menu focused on chicken, duck and turkey sourced from Barham Cattle Company & Family Farm in Kearney. It will feature a “constantly rotating” spit roaster right behind the bar with a cutting board in front for chopping.
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D’Ablaing, an Atlanta native, will have a signature fried chicken dish (soaked in a sour cream mixture for 48 hours to help it retain moisture), Southern-style cheddar biscuits with country ham, shrimp and grits, and fried green tomatoes. Entrees will mostly be between $10 and $20.
“I love fried chicken and there’s no good fried chicken in Brookside,” he said. “Having a chicken restaurant is something I’ve always wanted to do. It’s my favorite thing, my kid’s favorite thing, so why not?”
Brookside Poultry Co. will have one standard dessert, key lime pie, as well as some seasonal specials and d’Ablaing will take customer requests.
It will seat up to 30 people in the dining room and 10 people at the bar, which will offer canned beer (Pabst Blue Ribbon for $1.25) and canned wine, Southern-inspired cocktails, a few other spirits and sweet tea. It also will have a carry-out counter.
Hours will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
d’Ablaing said he started cooking for himself as soon as he could reach the stove.
“I was 8 or 9 and always a finicky eater. I knew what I liked so my mother let me cook,” he said. “I still hear from my older brother. He reminds me that he would see something in the refrigerator and my mom wouldn’t let him eat it. ‘Look how skinny your brother is. He has to eat that.’ ”
D’Ablaing’s mother, Donna Dorsey, persuaded him to go to culinary school. He has worked in the Kansas City restaurant industry for more than two decades, most recently as executive chef at the former Rosso in the West Plaza, as well as Chaz on the Plaza at the Raphael Hotel and Webster House.
“I’ve opened restaurants for people all over the place, always for someone else, always on their dime,” he said. “Seeing the mistakes they make, not listening to the professional. Just not spending so much money on the opening. I’m spending a lot of sweat equity on my own. You are looking at only 10 to 15 percent (profit) on sales at the end of the year, and that’s on the really hopeful side.”