The Bay Area is about to get a taste of Chicago favorite (and Eater Chicago 38 member) Honey Butter Fried Chicken. From Thursday, November 9 through Sunday, November 12, food delivery service Caviar will send Honey Butter orders all over the East Bay from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Food will also be available for pick up from the local source: Forage Kitchen in Oakland, a food incubator space where Caviar has set up a commissary kitchen for this and other pop-up purposes. To pick up there, customers still have to order ahead on Caviar.
Honey Butter’s signature, as the name suggests, is fried chicken served with a “big ol’ dollop of honey butter.” Chefs/co-owners Christine Cikowski and Joshua Kulp started their business as a supper club, expanding in 2013 to a brick and mortar location. Honey Butter also delivers through Caviar in Chicago, where it’s one of the city’s most popular restaurants for Caviar delivery. The whole delivery menu, including sides like pimento mac and cheese and waffle fries, is here.
The Oakland Honey Butter pop-up is just the latest in a series of cross-city delivery experiments from Caviar. SF souvlaki phenomenon Souvla, which operates three locations in the city, was the first to use to use Forage Kitchen space under the auspices of Caviar, testing the waters on the other side of the bay during a busy four-day run in August. After that, Caviar gave Souvla a shot delivering to NYC diners last month. The results exceeded expectations: Souvla sold out in 15 minutes, and the SF team had to overnight “emergency pitas” to NY.
“This is a great way for restaurants to test new markets,” Katie Dally, a spokesperson for Caviar owner Square, told Eater SF by email. She praises Forage Kitchen’s wonderful space that’s “highly convenient for both diners and couriers,” and hints that Caviar could rely on similar hubs for more experiments in SF and other cities.
Souvla doesn’t have immediate plans for an extended NY stay, but for others with expansion aspirations, it’s a way to start building a customer base. SF’s 4505 Burgers & BBQ, for example, has committed to an Oakland expansion, but their space has been delayed until next spring. To get things going, they started delivering to Oakland through Caviar last month.