When Wishbone General Manager Erica Hope opened the restaurant’s doors officially for the first time Monday at 5 p.m., the dozen or so people queued outside rushed into the store.
Over the next half hour, about 30 guests were served and seated. “That’s good. That’s fast,” Hope said.
Hope is part of the team opening the newest food landmark on Walnut Street between 40th and 41st streets. Wishbone, which specializes in fried chicken, has been in construction since July and was just cleared for inspection this week. Owners and area chefs Dave Clouser and Alan Segel filled the storefront after Lee’s Hoagie House closed in June.
“These guys have a huge love for food and cooking,” Hope said of the chefs. The team sought something different than fine dining, something that “everyone could relate to.”
“Everyone loves fried chicken!” Hope added.
The space is decorated with exposed brick up one wall, glass on another and a dark wood floor. There’s one counter where customers can order and additional seating upstairs.
Among the first customers was College senior Chloe Lewis, who remembered seeing the restaurant under construction and was excited to try it out. “I’m obsessed with fried chicken,” she said.
The chicken is definitely the centerpiece of the restaurant. Hope described it as “so beautiful, it almost refracts light”. The chicken is sold by weight, with several dipping sauces on rotation on the menu.
“Really good and really cheap,” Engineering sophomore Salomon Cohen said after trying the food for the first time. “It brings in another good option on Walnut.”
Wishbone is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. Hope hopes for some late-night hours in the weeks to come, along with other community and student outreach events — like hosting socials in the upstairs dining space.
“We want to be that spot where we’re in peoples’ lives,” she said.
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