Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Harold's is Movin' on Up

Harold's Fried Chicken is coming to Wicker Park, though without its trademark ambiance:
There will be something missing from the counter at the Harold's Chicken Shack coming to Wicker Park -- bulletproof glass.

'It's a new millennium for Harold's,' said J.R. Williams, Harold's operations manager. 'We want to have a store that fits with the neighborhood.'

And in this hip corner of the city, that means those two slices of white bread for mopping up the sauce of a steaming chicken dinner will be going trendy -- we're talking whole wheat bread -- when the store opens April 2 at 1361 N. Milwaukee.

It's the first venture on the North Side for the South Side's self-described 'Fried Chicken King' since a Rogers Park 'Shack' was gobbled up by a Giordano's expansion and never replaced.
I predict this move will be a big success. Harold's is simply the perfect food to cap a night out at the bars. I wish they'd have done this 12 years ago when I was living in Wicker Park. Bill C and I used to joke about going through Harold's withdrawal living on the north side.

Without the bullet proof glass and 2 slices of Wonder Bread for sopping, the Wicker Park Harold's will not really offer the authentic Harold's experience. (Implicit in Williams' statement about 'a store that fits with the neighborhood' is an acknowledgement that bullet proof glass is needed at the other 40+ Harold's locations.) I look forward to ordering my usual 1/2 white with hot and barbecue from the new Wicker Park Harold's even if it comes with whole wheat bread and doing so lacks the 'excitement' I've come to associate with the Harold's experience.

Diego adds: Movin' on up? How about all the way up, as in Uptown. Harold's would fit nicely somewhere on Wilson Ave and provide another source for those delicious discarded chicken bones on the sidewalk that I find fair and square but have to wrestle with the bi-ped to get to enjoy. Still, I'll be paying a visit to the new Wicker Park location shortly.


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