Now, this is fly. The Crack Shack will open July 14 in Murray, Utah — commemorating its 10th location for the booming brand. The Crack Shack now soars in the markets of Utah, Texas, Las Vegas, and, of course, its homeland of Southern California.
The Crack Shack originally started as a passion project to transform the pristine, local ingredients from the founding team’s fine dining restaurant in Southern California, Juniper and Ivy, into a more accessible, casual setting. What started as a humble, open-air chicken spot in San Diego in 2015 — before the fried chicken sandwich craze began — has now transformed itself into 10 counter service style eateries, earning the title of one of the best fried chicken restaurants in the US and recognition as a Michelin Plate honoree.
“We’re eight years in, and 10 stores strong. It’s been incredible to see the beloved brand we built in California find new loyal followings as we’ve brought it to new markets,” says Dan Peña, Director of Operations for the brand. “Customers have fallen in love with our unique menu, fresh ingredients, and addicting flavors, and we’re excited to keep growing and bringing new people into The Crack Shack family.”
Culinary Director Jon Sloan is behind the SoCal/Baja-inspired fried chicken that combines fresh, non-GMO, “beyond free range” birds and a proprietary “Crack Spice” blend from Le Sanctuaire. While bone-in fried chicken is their signature, the menu boasts chef-driven fried chicken sandwiches, chicken tender combo meals, fresh and hearty bowls for the healthy-ish at heart, and a Lil’ Cluckers menu the kids love and the grown-ups can feel good about serving their families.
The Crack Shack prides itself on its house-made sauces, produce sourced from boutique local farms, and fresh bread by local bakeries. For those with a sweet tooth, the seasonally-rotating milkshakes and giant housemade cookies are musts.
What’s more, its devotion to community is unwavering. From sourcing local vendors like bakeries and creameries to partnering and fundraising with schools, sports teams, and non-profits, The Crack Shack is committed to uplifting every neighborhood it’s a part of.
In 2020, Savory Fund, a private equity firm focused on scaling emerging restaurant concepts, invested into The Crack Shack with plans to expand the brand. Since then, it’s taken it from four stores to 10 — with plans for an additional 10 locations over the next year.
“When we invested in The Crack Shack three years ago, we knew it was a concept that could become beloved coast to coast,” says Andrew K. Smith, managing partner and co-founder of Savory Fund, primary investor of The Crack Shack. “Not only is it the best chicken sandwich you’ll ever have (get the Coop Deville tossed with Sweet Heat and thank me later), it’s also a dining experience you’ll want to have again and again.”