While living in Australia a few years ago, restaurateur Adam Schlegel learned that Aussies and Americans have at least one thing in common: the love of a good barbecue. Schegel, who co-founded Snooze with his brother, John, more than a decade ago, came back to the U.S. with a profound appreciation for "chook," spit-roasted chicken cooked over charcoal and served from divey mom-and-pop joints.
In 2018, Schlegel teamed up with chef Alex Seidel, the James Beard Award-winning chef/owner of Fruition and Mercantile Dining & Provision, to open Chook Charcoal Chicken at 1300 South Pearl Street, along with partner Randy Layman. Following the success of the first Chook, the trio is launching a new location at 4340 East Eighth Avenue. Like the original, the specialty of the house is juicy bird cooked Aussie-style over charcoal and served whole or shredded onto sandwiches and salads.
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The new Chook is about half again as big as the original, with a full bar and a better view of the fire pits used to roast vegetables as well as chicken. Other design elements return, including the collage wall, hexagonal black and white tile, and glass room dividers filled with charcoal.
The menu replicates the South Pearl slate of quarter, half or whole chicken with a choice of sauces, salads with smoky veggies and pulled chicken, and sandwiches built on specially made dinner rolls or ciabatta bread. New at both locations is a chicken salad sandwich on a croissant made by Füdmill, Seidel's wholesale bakery. Also not to be missed are the chicken-salt potato chips made with Colorado-grown potatoes.
Chook's new location near the intersection of East Eighth Avenue and Colorado Boulevard looks out onto the mushrooming 9th + CO development, where hundreds of new apartments and condos will soon add to the customer base, along with residents of the surrounding Hale, Hilltop (which Schlegel calls home) and Montclair neighborhoods. The restaurant took over a former nail salon and hair stylist in a building that retains its mid-century appeal amid all the new construction.
Chook opens today (Friday, December 20) at 11 a.m. and will be open daily for lunch and dinner until 9 p.m. Visit the restaurant's website for more details.