Downlow Chicken Shack owners Doug Stephen and Lindsey Mann are opening a second location of their wildly popular Nashville Hot Chicken concept, this time out at UBC.
The purveyors and local popularizers of the Tennesseean concept have had a hit on their hands ever since they opened the original restaurant on The Drive back in before-times of 2018. It has seen swift-moving line-ups pretty much on a daily basis, and has been one of Vancouver’s most successful independent restaurants throughout the pandemic.
The new location of Downlow (aka “DL”) will launch on University Boulevard’s food option-packed restaurant row (6065 University Blvd) early next month, just as in-person classes resume. It will see some 50 seats in 1,600 sqft and offer take-out and dine-in with online ordering coming soon after launch.
The new address will make all of DL’s classic and most popular items, such as Hot Chicken sandwiches, fried chicken and tenders, not to mention all the well known sides, and special flavours (my favourite is still the lemon pepper). Last week Doug told me (at his and Lindsay’s recently opened Vennie’s Sub Shop) that he was working on a new signature spice dust for the second location, so we can expect some brand new tastes, too. (There’s no word as of yet about their secret menu items also making the move. One can only hope!)
“We are extremely excited to be part of UBC’s campus and share our love of fried chicken with new and current fans,” Doug says. “When we opened our first location three years ago, we could not have foreseen the amazing support we have received thus far. We are so very thankful. And now with our second location, we are in great company on University Boulevard.”
I think a lot of neighbourhoods were hoping they would be on the receiving end of DL’s seemingly inevitable second location. I was thinking it would be either West 4th or North Van, but UBC has a captive, young, hungry, food-loving population with money in their pockets, so this totally makes sense. Congratulations are due to UBC, and really everyone on the West Side. If you’ve never tried DL before, you’re in for a singular experience. Unsolicited advice: start slow on the spice level and build.