At White Fence Farm, Mother’s Day is like Christmas, Valentine’s Day and the Fourth of July rolled into one. “We’ll probably do 3,000 meals,” says co-owner Craig Caldwell. “It starts early in the morning and just goes nonstop from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.”
Although Caldwell is a restaurant veteran who’s owned everything from Thirsty’s to Brooklyn’s, this will be his first Mother’s Day at White Fence Farm, the shrine to fried chicken at 6263 West Jewell Avenue in Lakewood that he and Tom Piercy bought from Charlie Wilson and his family last fall. But Caldwell and Piercy will have plenty of experienced help on hand, since staffers stayed on after the purchase. “They’re so organized, they’ve been doing it for 42 years,” Caldwell says. “People who’ve only worked here sixteen years are considered newcomers.”
And the new owners are sticking with the tried-and-true recipe. “We’re not changing anything, just adding to it,” says Caldwell. Those additions include the great mac and cheese, chicken tenders and a big salad (with chicken, of course) now offered on the menu, as well as a better selection of wines. They’re also moving Granny’s, a soda fountain/candy store, from the bar area into a carriage house on the property and reconfiguring the bar, adding high-tops as well as a new stage (right now, the band has to play on the dance floor because the kids’ chute leads to the stage). A band plays six nights a week — don’t miss Dick & Lois — and there will also be live music outside in the gazebo on Saturday afternoons this month, since White Fence Farm is now open for lunch on Saturdays.
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But the biggest change isn’t even at White Fence Farm: Caldwell and Piercy are opening a few satellite locations. So far, the farm team consists of a spot in the Pepsi Center that had been occupied by Arby’s (it’s slated for a June opening), and a space at Green Valley Ranch that should be open in July. Although the White Fence Farm there won’t have a liquor license, it will have seating for twenty inside and twenty more outside, so that those who just can’t wait to eat their fried chicken can enjoy their dinner there rather than taking it to go.
Why Green Valley Ranch? According to Caldwell, the King Soopers there sells more fried chicken than any other store in the chain.
More locations are in the works. But first, Mother's Day....