The Crispy Coop opens in Pickerington to expand central Ohio reach

Nate Ellis
ThisWeek group
Drew Cleary (left) and Xue Gong Chen opened the Crispy Coop on March 5 at 1510 Cross Creek Blvd. in Pickerington. They opened another restaurant in early 2020 at 1717 Northwest Blvd. in Columbus.

After rebranding and finding success near Grandview Heights, the Crispy Coop has brought its fried chicken and other fixings to Pickerington.

On March 5, Xue Gong Chen and Drew Cleary opened their second restaurant at 1510 Cross Creek Blvd. in Pickerington.

Operating out of a 2,500-square-foot space that formerly housed Gogibop, the restaurant is anchored by a breadcrumb-battered fried chicken recipe first developed at the Buena Vista Café, which has operated in Warren since 1956.

In 2015, Cleary brought the chicken, with permission from the café’s founder, Nick Frankos, to 1333 Northwest Blvd. in Columbus, just north of Grandview, under the name of Uncle Nick’s Greek Fried Chicken.

The Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich is on the menu at the Crispy Coop, 1510 Cross Creek Blvd. in Pickerington.

Then at the outset of 2020, Cleary teamed with Chen, a restaurateur responsible for Typhoon Asian Fusion Bitro and the franchise chain Poke Bros. They rebranded Uncle Nick’s into the Crispy Coop and moved to 1717 Northwest Blvd., a few blocks from Cleary’s original restaurant.

They also spiced up the menu’s signature offering by adding a Tennessee mild version, and a Nashville hot to the traditional recipe.  

Those recipes, as well as a Chicken Sammy and side orders like macaroni and cheese, greens, coleslaw and JoJo potatoes – fried wedges coated in seasonal flour – all have made their way to the Pickerington location, which operates from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

The traditional white dinner with two breasts, macaroni and cheese and greens is on the menu at the Crispy Coop, which opened March 5 at 1510 Cross Creek Blvd. in Pickerington.

Desserts also are available, including Coca-Cola red velvet cake and homemade banana "puddin'."

Chicken dinners range from a four-chicken-strips dinner for $11 to a half-chicken dinner for $11.50 and a sandwich dinner for $12. All dinners come with two sides.

“We wanted an east-side location to cover more ground in greater Columbus, and Pickerington seemed like a great place to start,” Cleary said. “The storefront space opened up and the timing was right.”

Cleary said the Crispy Coop is “fun, memorable and simple.” He said the move to Pickerington is another step in the goal of “bringing that delicious, buttery fried-chicken flavor and signature hot sauces to as many people as possible.”

“The Crispy Coop is a fun, casual chicken joint offering a signature recipe of delicious fried chicken available in dinners, buckets and catering options with all the classic sides and a few really tasty desserts,” Cleary said. “We have three sauce options: Nashville hot for those who like chicken with a spicy kick; Tennessee mild for a lighter version of the spice; and traditional if you just like good old-fashioned fried chicken. 

“The Chicken Sammy is an out-of-this-world chicken sandwich that is a must-try.”

The Crispy Coop’s menu is available at thecrispycoop.com. The restaurant offers catering and third-party delivery services through Uber Eats and DoorDash. Carryout and online ordering also is available.

“Catering is a big part of our business, and we have a full catering menu on the website and in the store for anyone stocking up for a big family gathering,” Cleary said. “Catering is usually a pickup-only option at this time.”

Theresa Byers, Pickerington Area Chamber of Commerce president,  said she’s pleased to see the addition of the Crispy Coop.

“The attraction to Pickerington is evident each time a new business opens,” Byers said. “Adding a new business means new jobs and a stronger economy for our community. 

“In a time where our world is still facing a pandemic and many businesses have been challenged, we should still celebrate the growth. In fact, it is something for us to be proud of and hold our heads high.”

nellis@thisweeknews.con

@ThisWeekNate