South End Southern restaurant Estelle's closed briefly for some renovations a couple weeks back, and as reported last week, it's undergoing a total rebranding as well. When it reopens tomorrow at 4 p.m., Estelle's will be Cluckit (styled as CLUCKIT!), purveyor of "hot chicken and cold beer," according to a press release.
"Estelle's was a way for me to express my Southern roots through cooking," said chef/co-owner Brian Poe via press release. "After a great run, I was ready for a change. Cluckit is a concept that Gordon [Wilcox, co-owner] and I have been envisioning for years — a spot where we would hang out with friends that had spicy food and cold beer — and we figured there is no time like the present."
The menu (see below) features several sizes and heat levels of grilled chicken, pork, and shrimp in a spicy piri piri sauce (from "mild" to "scorching") or in a non-spicy lemon pepper basil. The four sauces are on the table, so go ahead and drown your chicken in "scorching piri," if you'd like. The small menu also includes a few snacks, sides, and salads.
Members of Estelle's "Mugger's Club" will be grandfathered in at the new restaurant, and new inductees can join as well by drinking every beer (30 on draught and 70 in bottles and cans) in 180 days.
Cluckit will be open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday.
In other poultry news, Korean fried chicken chain BonChon is expanding to 299 Essex St. in Salem, reports Boston Restaurant Talk. Locally, there are existing outposts in Harvard Square, Allston, and Lowell, but it's also elsewhere around the United States and Asia.
BonChon's menu features fried chicken wings, drums, and strips with either spicy or soy garlic sauce (or a combination), along with a variety of Korean snacks and entrees. No word yet on an opening timeline for the Salem location.