Wowee Zowee has been a hit since it opened in 2019, with Mornington locals and visitors elbowing their way to the bar for its ripper fried chicken. So much so, the team has just opened a new spot next door – Rudy’s Fried Chicken – to cater to the crowds.

Much more than a holding cell for overflow, the new site is a more spacious setting, so it’s ideal for families and groups. The decor is ’70s-burger-chain-meets-beer-hall, delivering the same quality food and drinks you’ve come to expect from the team (which is also behind Loosie’s and Slim’s Hot Pizza).

That means the same buttermilk fried chicken – it’s hot-brined, floured and spiced before frying – plus buffalo wings tossed in hot sauce and served with blue-cheese ranch, popcorn cauliflower and more by chef and co-owner Simon Tarlington, who designs the menus at Slim’s and Loosie’s too.

At Rudy’s you’ll find a larger menu, with eight burgers to choose from – including the buffalo chicken burger (buttermilk chicken in buffalo sauce with cheese, pickles, chipotle mayo and lettuce) and another with gravy and burger sauce. There are also two vegetarian options, including one with a mac’n’cheese patty, and a vegan option with a Buds Burger patty.

Drinks include heart-starting picklebacks (Jameson whiskey followed by pickle juice), and Young Henrys pale ale and Pabst lager, available in pots, pints or jugs. The cocktail list, which is broken up into classic and boozy, includes a Margarita that’s said to be one of the best on the peninsula.

Co-owner Cameron Marshall runs top peninsula wine label Garagiste and its sister label Range Life, so wine drinkers are in good hands here. You’ll find Range Life pinots (grigio and noir) plus other drops from the area.

“We want to keep providing something a bit personal and unique,” says co-owner Clint Hyndman. Hyndman is also the drummer for Something for Kate, and equal attention is paid to the playlist.

“The soundtrack is Southern rockabilly, dirty country and blues,” he says. Expect to hear the likes of RL Burnside, Canned Heat and Black Oak Arkansas on the speakers.

Rudy’s Fried Chicken
35 Main Street, Mornington

Wed to Sat 4pm–10pm