The wait for the highly anticipated The Crack Shack in burgeoning Old Pasadena is officially over, as the brand is opening its doors for fried chicken lovers on November 12. Brought to you by founder Michael Rosen and Top Chef Richard Blais’ shared intense love of all things chicken and “breakfast for dinner,” The Crack Shack provides a gourmet menu in a fun and welcoming environment featuring classic comfort fare with a unique twist that utilizes the highest quality ingredients available – from the produce, to the poultry, and even the sodas. The all-day dining venue offers guests a modern and accessible menu of high quality, locally raised, antibiotic-free Jidori chicken, eggs from Eben-Haezer Ranch and Gone Straw Farms, as well as produce from local boutique farms.
“I love nothing more than fried chicken and sharing it with people who are passionate about a good bird. As a chef, I have come to appreciate the incredible cuisine in California and I am particularly impressed with the dining scene in Pasadena, and even more excited for The Crack Shack to be a part of it,” says Blais.
The Crack Shack’s SoCal spirit comes alive through a fun and playful chef driven menu featuring elevated dining options for everyone. Guests can choose from a selection of crispy, juicy five-and-10-pieces of fried chicken, house made biscuits with miso-maple butter, and signature fried chicken oysters featuring the most delicious part of the chicken. Guests can also choose amongst interesting menu additions like the Mexican Poutine with house made jalapeno cheese wiz, deviled eggs with French toast crumble and candied bacon, and Matzo Ball Pozole with lime and schmaltz.
Those looking to indulge can look no further than the expansive sandwich section of the menu starting with the Pasadena location exclusive Chicken Thigh Pastrami Sandwich featuring Dr. Brown's Creamed Onions, kraut, Emmentaler Cheese and Pickle-naise on marble rye bread. Other sandwich options include the Firebird made with a spicy fried chicken thigh topped with cool ranch, crispy onions and pickles between a potato roll, and the Señor Croque containing a crispy fried chicken breast, a runny fried egg, white cheddar and miso-maple butter on a brioche bun
For those looking for lighter fare can choose from dishes like the Anti-Salad Power Bowl made with smoked chicken, soft boiled egg, quinoa, Chato’s salsa, avocado and arugula; the Border Slaw with papaya, mango, jicama, coconut, chili and pineapple; or the Downward Dog featuring local vegetables, sunflower seeds, quinoa, hummus and a lemon yogurt vinaigrette. And for a little something sweet, The Crack Shack will offer signature milkshakes from Afters Ice Cream, and irresistible fresh, house-made cookies with rotating flavors.
To wash it all down, guests can head to the 24-seat full bar to enjoy a craft beverage program with SoCal specific spirits and ingredients. Signature cocktails include the Scramble, a blackberry mule made with vodka, crème de mure, lemon and ginger, and the Hot Mess, a take on a smoky margarita made with mezcal, Ancho Reyes, honey, lime and grapefruit. The bar will also feature a curated wine and beer list with 12 beers on taps including local selections.
“When we were looking for our next Crack Shack location, we fell in love with Pasadena. It is such a vibrant, diverse and family-oriented community and we thought this would be a great place for us to put down roots,” said Rosen. “Our goal is to create a delicious dining experience for all ages to enjoy, and we are excited to bring that to this community.”
Designed by Lloyd T. Boers and constructed by Daniel Jones, who was one of the original designers of the Old Pasadena Historic District, The Crack Shack occupies a historic space, formerly the Pasadena Automobile Radiator and Lamp Repair Company. It then became the Firehouse Recording Studio where notable artists such as Phil Collins, Chaka Khan, David Lee Roth, Patti LaBelle, Neil Diamond and many more previously recorded. The 6,020 square foot space will feature a rustic farmhouse aesthetic with an elevated feel through custom made reclaimed wood and corrugated metal furniture. In addition to Rose Bowl inspired art, an ode to the neighborhood and the space’s rich history, the original sign for the Firehouse Recording Studio hangs proudly on the wall. The space will foster a welcoming environment for friends, business colleagues and families to congregate and share a meal in the light and spacious indoor setting with an outdoor vibe thanks to added skylights and bifold windows. The restaurant will also cater to the chicken littles with a kid-friendly menu and a children’s eating and play area with a putting green and chalkboard wall.
The Pasadena opening will mark the growing brand’s fifth location, with two shacks in San Diego, one in Costa Mesa and most recently Westfield Century City, with expansion outside of SoCal planned for Las Vegas in 2019.