Fried chicken joint Thirsty Bird – from the same team behind Oxford Street late-night porcine eatery Mr Crackles – is opening a second outpost, this time in Newtown. Co-owner and chef Sam Horowitz tells Broadsheet that there’s no opening date yet, but that they plan to launch in around three weeks.
Horowitz says the menu at Thirsty Bird Newtown will be the same as its Kings Cross counterpart: pieces of thickly battered Southern American-style chook, slaw-heavy burgers and sides of waffle fries and mac’n’cheese. Unlike Kings Cross, the inner-west venue will have a liquor licence, so beer and wine will be on the menu. It’ll also have loads more seating, with space for 40 chicken fans to sit.
“We're keeping it fairly simple,” says Horowitz. “We still want a takeaway/ fast-food feel with a very casual atmosphere.”
The eatery will take up the space on King Street where seafood restaurant Salmon and Bear used to live (it has another venue in Zetland and recently opened in Crows Nest). It’ll join other nearby chicken purveyors at that end of Newtown, Clem’s and Mary’s.
Once it’s up and running, Horowitz says he’ll look at adding desserts to the menu (Thirsty Bird Kings Cross serves apple pie), and once things settle down, a brunch option (think chicken and waffles).
The original Thirsty Bird was opened in 2016 and is notable for its attention to detail when it comes to battering and frying a bird. First the chook is brined with a mix of salt, spices, garlic and herbs, then air-dried in a cool room for 24 hours. Then, the chicken is battered and dipped in buttermilk, then battered and dipped in buttermilk again before being fried.
Thirsty Bird Newtown is slated to open at 226 King Street, Newtown in September.