Juke Fried Chicken is expanding. Owners Justin Tisdall, Bryan Satterford and Cord Jarvie took possession of a West End address – 1074 Davie St. – yesterday morning with the goal of transforming it into the company’s second location by the end of the summer.
“So when are you guys going to open up a new spot?” It’s a question I’ve often asked the Juke guys over the two years since they first launched their operation in Chinatown. The brand/concept feels like it was designed for expansion, and Lord knows they’ve been looking for new spaces since the very start. (By Justin’s count, they’ve eyed over 30 other potential spaces in the past year alone, and came close to pulling the trigger on a couple of them before this opportunity came up).
The Davie St. strip in the West End feels right for a stable, well-received, homegrown winner like Juke. The location was previously home to the woefully short-lived Souvlaki & Co., which replaced the equally false-started Meat City sandwich shop, which replaced the entirely appropriately named Hell pizzeria, which replaced the…you get the idea.
This address could use some success, and Juke – which does a brisk trade with delivery companies like Doordash – could use the expansion of their deliverable radius. (This takes them into Kitsilano and the whole of the West End and Coal Harbour.)
I met up with the team inside the 1,100 sqft space shortly after they got the keys. They were in there going over their prize, taking measurements, squinting in the corners, inspecting the vents and generally making plans. It’s a huge kitchen, basically a turnkey op, but it’ll need some work and TLC before it’s ready to play Juke’s precise, consistent game.
There are some cool toys here that will make this location’s menu a little different than the original’s. For example, they’ve inherited a huge Rotisol machine, so we can expect to see some rotisserie birds on offer alongside the regular deep-fried options (still gluten-free, as always). They also have a milkshake machine here, so expect some thick shakes too.
I don’t imagine we’ll see a bar here like they have in Chinatown, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be putting in an application for a liquor license straight away. Come opening day, we should be able to enjoy draft beer, wine and a couple of cocktails — maybe even a boozy shake or two if we’re lucky. Take a look inside, knowing full well that they have yet to touch a thing…