May 8, 2023 - Food and Drink

Crack Shack's rapid expansion is bringing two restaurants to Phoenix

A tray filled with fried chicken, French fries, bread rolls, cole slaw and cookies.

A Flock Meal from the Crack Shack. Photo: Courtesy of the Savory Fund

A quickly growing Southern California-based chain of fried chicken restaurants is preparing to move into the Valley.

Driving the news: The Crack Shack, which opened its first restaurant in San Diego in 2015, is planning to open two local outposts next January.

  • The first will be at 1902 E. Camelback Road, followed by a second at 8980 E. Shea Blvd., according to Briana Stewart, director of marketing and PR for the company's primary investor.
  • The chain's ninth eatery will open in St. George, Utah, soon, and the Valley locations will be the 15th and 16th if everything goes according to plan.
  • Arizona made sense as a target for expansion because the company already owns other restaurants, Sicilian Butcher and Hash Kitchen, with locations here.

Details: The restaurant's specialty is bone-in fried chicken, Stewart said. "They were kind of doing the hip chicken sandwich craze before there was a hip chicken sandwich craze," she said.

  • It will offer dine-in, take-out, delivery and catering, and it will have a full bar.
  • She described the restaurants as "craft casual," a cross between fast-casual and fine dining.
  • The company was looking to create a local hotspot where people could get a meal, grab a beer and watch a game, Stewart said.

Between the lines: We know you're wondering about the restaurant's unusual name, so Axios Phoenix asked about its origins.

  • "Crack" refers to the cracking of an egg, "because the heart of our menu is the best quality chicken," and the second half of the name references the abandoned shack on the property where they built their first restaurant, Stewart explained.

Jeremy's thought bubble: I learned about Crack Shack's Valley plans because its Phoenix central location will be on the former site of my beloved trivia night bar, the Armadillo Grill (later renamed Brenda's Inferno).

  • As sad as I am to see the Dillo go, I'm looking forward to trying Crack Shack.
  • I love the fried chicken sandwich trend, and they've got some incredible-looking options.
  • Stewart said other Crack Shack locations do trivia, so I might be in luck!

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