Inside Chinatown’s Now Permanent ‘Chickadee’

You might recall back in June of last year that Chinatown’s Juke Fried Chicken partitioned its space to create Chickadee, a small cocktail-focused zone separated from the bustle of the quick-service restaurant by a temporary dividing wall…

Award-winning bartender Sabrine Dhaliwal (ex-Uva, West) was at the helm (and still is), and guests could order food from Juke’s late night and dinner menus, plus drinks from Sabrine’s cocktail card — all via app. It was a very forward-thinking move in the midst of a pandemic, as it showed not only a seriousness about safety protocols but also a lot of savvy about how best to take advantage of limited square footage and an under-exploited liquor license. The temporary division of the two spaces worked well enough during the Covid doldrums that owners Cord Jarvie, Justin Tisdall and Bryan Satterford have now made them physically permanent.

I looked in on the last acts of this new transformation yesterday to find Juke and Chickadee now two very different entities, walled off from each other save for a thin service passage. Chickadee guests can still order food from Juke’s menu, but with separate entrances and disparate looks one is very much an orange and the other an apple. Juke is now essentially a take-out operation with no seats of its own save for the patio and a newly built ledge along the window frontage (for those looking to chow down indoors in the herd-immune future). It looks and feels like it has found what it was always destined to be, while Chickadee – with its new window seat enclosures, 80’s mall Miami Vice aesthetic and expanded cocktail card – looks and feels fun, approachable, entirely its own thing, and wholly deserving of its brand new permissions to serve alcohol until 1am on weekdays and 2am on weekends (albeit only when the current Covid “last call” restrictions come to an end, whenever that might be).

Take a closer look…

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