Plans made for commercial kitchen and rotisserie chicken business

By: 
Dwight Harriman

If you have wondered what in the world is being built on Park Street between Dan Bailey’s Fly Shop and Berkshire Hathaway, wonder no more.

Cluck.

That’s the name of a new rotisserie chicken place going in there. The restaurant is owned by Brian Menges, who also owns 2nd Street Bistro, Gil’s Goods and the Murray Bar. Cluck plans on opening June 21.

“It’s our first foray into quick service,” Menges said during a recent interview at Gil’s about the new place just down the sidewalk.

But it’s not just a place for rotisserie chicken. That’s only about a third of it. 

You see, Menges has a problem. Each of his places of business is doing its own food preparation. It’s inefficient, and it is difficult coordinating that work with tasks other staff need to get done.

“We’re always just on top of each other,” Menges said.

So he envisioned creating a commercial kitchen where all that prep work could be done in one place. The kitchen, filling two-thirds of that 30-by-60-foot space between Dan Bailey’s and Berkshire Hathaway, will be dedicated to food preparation: everything from soup making to butchering, charcuterie (sausage making), vegetable preparation and sauce creation.

Then, with the commercial kitchen out of sight in back, Menges plans Cluck, a quick, low-price, convenient, healthy and delicious-to-boot rotisserie chicken restaurant in the front third of the space.

Cluck would feature mostly takeout, but with room for about 10 seats, where customers could watch savory chickens turning slowly in a huge, wood-fired brick rotisserie. 

Customers would also have the option of ordering pressure-fried chicken, a method of frying chicken that takes less oil and is quicker. All the chicken would come with classic sides. Customers will be able to order a la carte.

“This will be as good a chicken as we can create,” Menges said. 

For takeout, customers can walk in to get their chicken or order it by phone — even from their cars. To facilitate things, Menges is working on leasing some parking spots nearby. Cluck even plans on having some fun, roller-skating chicken dishes out to cars during the summer. 

Cluck will deliver within a two-block radius, including to customers at the Murray Bar.

To supply Cluck with chickens, Menges will continue his tradition of buying poultry from the Hutterite Martinsdale Colony. In keeping with Menge’s mission to provide healthy, sustainable and locally sourced produce and protein, the chickens are free-range and cage free. To fit Cluck’s needs, they will be smaller, in the 3 1/2 to 4-pound range.

He underscored his commitment to working for and being part of the community.

“We really believe in this town — we’re here for the long haul,” he said.

For more information, visit Cluck on Facebook or call 222-9463. A website at www.livcluck.com will also soon be up.

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Dwight Harriman may be reached at dharriman@livent.net.

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