Former Albert Street Food & Wine restaurant managers Ruth Giffney and Stuart Brookshaw have turned the first sod on a permanent home off Flinders Lane for their long-time-coming chicken shop, Henrietta's.
After a trial run with a pop-up in Queenscliff last summer the pair know exactly what they're after – smoking coals, super-salads and rotisserie chickens, "Our take on a classic Aussie charcoal chicken shop," says Brookshaw.
Expecting to open mid-February, they're turning the space into an all-day restaurant and bar with around 90 seats – takeaway is encouraged with the option to pre-order. It's already licensed; expect locally sourced craft beers.
"You'll walk in and there'll be a front counter with all produce on display, Ottolenghi style, and anywhere you sit you'll be able to see the rotisserie," says Brookshaw, who's planning booth and bar-style seating with the assistance of Upfront Concepts.
Specialising in rare, heritage breed chooks (they're currently working with Milawa), brined for 24 hours before slow cooking over hot coals, it'll just be a case of deciding how much to order – a quarter, half or a whole.
Sit up at the bar, pick a couple of sides from a rotation of 20 hot and cold salads and knock back a gin and tonic slushie while you wait for your bird. Experiments are under way for a "surprise savoury soft serve" – you'll have to stay tuned.
Once it's up and running the pair plan to offer an all-day service from 11am-11pm Monday to Saturday, working towards a tentative opening date of February 17. If all goes to plan there are pop-ups headed for Dubai and Montreal – taking Australian charcoal chicken to the world.
Henrietta's Chicken Shop & Bar, Shop 7 Fulham Place (off Flinders Lane), henriettas.com