Birdigo in Solon Hopes to Make a Splash in Crowded Fast-Casual Fried Chicken Market

click to enlarge Birdigo in Solon Hopes to Make a Splash in Crowded Fast-Casual Fried Chicken Market
Courtesy Michael DuBois
Three or four years ago, Imperial Wok owner Michael DuBois sat down with 56 Kitchen owner Jay Leitson to hatch a plan for a new restaurant venture. The top contender was fried chicken, a sector that in the years since has seen incredible growth.

“We’ve been looking at concepts around the country and trying to see what was needed here in Solon and thought that a chicken restaurant with elevated elements was needed,” explains DuBois. “When we put this together chicken was out there, but obviously not like it is now.”

The management team, which includes Izzy Schachner and Adam Kemelhar, currently is building out its first Birdigo location in Solon (32975 Aurora Rd.). The space not only will serve as a ghost kitchen for carry-out and delivery service, but also a commissary for planned future expansion. The space is flexible enough to accommodate not only growth, but also pivots to other concepts, notes DuBois.

“So we can turn on a dime,” he says.

The core product will be fried chicken tenders, paired with a choice of 10 original sauces. The chicken will undergo an herb and tea brine and feature "a three flour herb mix for the breading, which will create a very crispy product," promises DuBois.

Sandwiches will include Nashville hot, pulled chicken and rotisserie-roasted porchetta. Also coming off the spit will be whole chickens. “Comfort-food” sides will range from deep-fried deviled eggs to baked, smashed and deep-fried fingerling potatoes. Specials such as brisket and banh mi sandwiches could pop up on any given day. For dessert, there will be custard, concretes and cookie sandwiches.

The space should be ready for its unveiling by late March or early April.

As stated above, the ultimate goal is to scale the concept up to include locations throughout Northeast Ohio.

“The goal is to have multiple locations,” says DuBois.
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Douglas Trattner

For 20 years, Douglas Trattner has worked as a full-time freelance writer, editor and author. His work on Michael Symon's "Carnivore," "5 in 5" and “Fix it With Food” have earned him three New York Times Best-Selling Author honors, while his longstanding role as Scene dining editor garnered the award of “Best...
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