The first review for highly-anticipated Chick's Fry House published today, and it's not exactly glowing. City Paper Critic Allston McCrady visits the Southern-fried newcomer in her article, "Chick's Fry House is all hype and no heat" (the title is the TL;DR version).
First, the good: "Chick's Fry House is a beautiful space ... You feel like you're eating fried chicken while wrapped in an American flag." Kudos to architect Reggie Gibson for transforming the space into a throwback Americana diner.
Now, the bad — the price: McCrady points out that a 12-piece with sides, biscuits, and sodas will run customers $57, while a similar meal "at Dodge's gas station [is] available for $25." Though, a fast-casual eatery in downtown Charleston and a convenience store on Johns Island probably have varying overhead costs accounting for some disparities in the price tag.
McCrady eventually states she would be willing to pay more for high-end chicken, but she's not buying it from Chick's Fry House:
The concept of bringing fine-dining quality to fast food is a great and profitable idea, if the quality is there. Danny Meyer's success with the Shake Shack burger chain seems an inspirational tale here. But Chick's is no Shake Shack. Shake Shack brands itself on sourcing vegetarian-fed 100 percent Angus beef that is humanely raised with no hormones or antibiotics. Chick's, by contrast, doesn't advertise anything about its sourcing which includes GrowFood Carolina and Springer Mountain Farms chicken. True, Springer Mountain Farms certifies its chicken as 100 percent natural, humanely raised, and free from antibiotics, hormones, or growth stimulants, high standards we wish all chicken growers would adopt. Still, at Chick's prices, I would expect those hens to have dined on truffles and listened to opera.
McCrady simply wants more for her dollar than "just decent fried chicken." She concludes by stating she'll stick to Martha Lou's for her yardbird fix.