This summer, fried chicken was brought into the mainstream conversation when Popeyes and Chick-fil-A exchanged in a “Twitter beef” about who had the better-fried chicken sandwich. This argument prompted lines out of their doors, viral videos of people reviewing their products, and locations reportedly selling out of their chicken. During this national phenomenon, local Rochester pop-up Chickn’ Out has been making waves of their own without the scripted online debates. Adam Bierton, the owner and founder of this successful pop-up, started Chickn’ Out in April of 2019. Showing up in various locations throughout the Rochester area, Chickn’ Out has sold fried chicken at the Blossom Road Pub every Thursday, amassing huge crowds of chicken lovers from across the city.
The pop-up model has become a common business practice in the 21st century. Essentially, a business or brand will work in conjunction with another business that owns a property and use the space to sell their product for a limited amount of time. It hosts various benefits that are ideal for both businesses involved and poses fewer financial risks for those trying something new. In Chickn’ Out’s case, the popular fried chicken pop-up will serve from 5-10 PM, or until supplies last which creates a booming demand for the product. The pop-up approach has also been popularized by globally appreciated music artists such as Frank Ocean, Tyler, The Creator, and Travis Scott (among many others) to sell their own merchandise and endorse new clothing brands. Adam explains that the “pop-up style concept was a way for me to introduce this product and see if I knew what I was really doing, and to see if I could really fry good chicken.” The pop-up approach has been wildly successful for Chickn’ Out as they have sold out of their product nearly every week. They have also had overwhelming success from hosting surprise pop-ups in various locations across the city, including at The Bug Jar for Floated Magazine’s Issue 8 Release Show in August.
Adam was living in Brooklyn, New York for seven years where he felt “spoiled” by the various local choices for fried chicken. Upon coming to Rochester, he was disappointed to find that KFC and Popeyes were some of the only restaurants that dedicated their menu to fried chicken. Adam decided to honor his grandmother’s recipes and went into the lab for over a year concocting and refining these homemade recipes into what has become Chickn’ Out’s secret formula today. He combined the use of a family secret with a bit of “Nashville soul” which adds a flavor and spice into the chicken. The product is handled with sensitive care to ensure a quality taste, as it is marinated for twelve hours and hand-seasoned. Adam proclaims that this extra attention to the process puts an emphasis on the “love” behind the food. If you’re looking for a place to unwind and have a few pints before the weekend starts, keep posted on Chickn’ Out’s Instagram (@chicknoutroc) for some quality fried chicken made with an undeniable dedication to the craft.