Christine and Nate Hereford originally planned their rotisserie-chicken restaurant Chicken Scratch as a brick-and-mortar operation. The pandemic changed those plans, and Chicken Scratch instead debuted last October in the Food Hall at City Foundry.
A year later, the couple is ready for their storefront. The second location of Chicken Scratch is slated to open next month at 9900 Manchester Road in Glendale. The restaurant will take over the small building previously occupied by the original location of the combined Pi Pizzeria + ¡Rico! Mexican.
For the Herefords, the Glendale location is nearly a homecoming. The couple lives in Kirkwood, and Christine grew up in Warson Woods. While the building itself is small, Christine said it will still allow Nate to expand Chicken Scratch’s menu.
“I think it allows us a little bit more space for Nate’s creative juices,” she said.
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That space will also allow for an increased number of online orders for pickup at the restaurant and for Chicken Scratch to grow its catering program. In addition to a drive-thru lane for those pickup orders, the Glendale location will offer dine-in seating.
Chicken Scratch was inspired by the rotisserie-chicken restaurants the Herefords visited while living in California. (Nate had been the executive chef of Niche before he took a research-and-development job with a Bay Area food company.)
The Food Hall kitchen has won acclaim for its rotisserie chicken and for sandwiches like the Chicken Dip, made with pulled rotisserie-chicken meat warmed in jus, and its fried Crispy Chicken sandwich.
“The crispy chicken sandwich, I would say in terms of sales, is definitely the highest (seller)” at the Food Hall, Christina said. “But most people actually talk to me about the Dip.”
The first year at the Food Hall has been a “learning opportunity,” she said. “But it’s been fun. You know, you have to tweak and grow and evolve, depending on what the customer base needs. So it’s been a great learning experience, and (City Foundry has) been great partners.”
The Herefords aim to open the Glendale location of Chicken Scratch in mid- to late November.
Nate Hereford’s Chicken Scratch succeeds with both whole roasted chickens and chicken sandwiches.