Freebird Chicken Shack Opening Soon in Chinatown

Chef Angus An has confirmed that his much-loved but recently shuttered Freebird Chicken Shack in New Westminster’s River Market will soon rise again, this time in the heart of Chinatown.

The second coming of Freebird will land just inside the doors of Chinatown House at 188 East Pender Street. It will replace the Ca Phe Vietnamese Coffee House pop-up when it finishes its short run later this Spring.

The new Freebird will be a very small operation of some 20 seats max. An – who also co-owns Maenam, Longtail Kitchen, Sen Pad Thai, Fat Mao Noodles and Popina Canteen – says the focus will be on coffee and pastries in the morning and then “roast chicken and chicken-focused dishes during the day.” I expect they’ll also do a brisk trade in take-out, as An says they’re readying several grab-n-go options for diners in a rush.

Chef Angus An inside Chinatown’s Fat Mao Noodles | Photo: Scout Magazine

If you are unfamiliar with the Freebird concept, it earned its reputation for deliciousness by way of its consistently excellent free-range, hormone-free, authentic chicken dishes served alongside a variety of smaller plates and side dishes like rice, soup and salads. It was a solid, reliable spot that was well worth the Skytrain ride.

My family loved their deeply flavourful Hainan-style chicken and their oh-so-amazing fried chicken (which came later to their New West operation). Given the limits of the address, I doubt they’ll be equipped with a deep fryer here. Either way, I’m just selfishly glad that Freebird’s resurrection is within easy walking distance from my front door.

This is good stuff, and I’m looking forward to digging into it again!

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