Road to Borough Hill: Fancy fried chicken joint opens quietly Downtown

Order up: Servers dish up barbecue at Hill Country’s first week open Downtown.
Community Newspaper Group / Megan Riesz

Downtown fried chicken fans are getting a taste of how Manhattan does the down-home staple.

The upscale greasy meat joint Hill Country Barbecue opened a location in a formerly decrepit city building near Borough Hall on Dec. 27 because company bigwigs saw a need for fancier finger-licking fare in the increasingly residential neighborhood, an executive said.

“Downtown is under-served for food,” said Bill Lukashok, the Central Texas-style eatery’s head of real estate and finance. “I think a new perspective on fried chicken, quality of food, and preparation is always welcome.”

The massive restaurant at 345 Adams St. near Fulton Street is Hill Country’s third location — there is also one in Washington, DC — and boasts a menu that includes macaroni and cheese, beef brisket, and wings by the pound. Only the front seating area is open at the moment, but the ambitious eatery is suppose to include a performance space that will host folk hoedowns five nights a week. A separate Hill Country Market will open inside with a bar and a butcher counter.

The new outpost has a Panera Bread, a Potbelly, and Brooklyn’s first Shake Shack for neighbors — not to mention a KFC, a Popeye’s, and a Crown Chicken and Pizza within a few blocks — but Lukashok insists the competition is all gravy.

“In the restaurant business, we looks at our competition as entrepreneurs — even if we are going for the same customers as Shake Shack,” Lukashok said.

Fans of the restaurant were thrilled to see the it land here.

“I like the fact that it is very Southern in its orientation,” said Manhattanite Neel Chemburkar, who has frequented the location across the East River. “As opposed to [KFC], which is more generic.”

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at mriesz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
Finger-lickin’: Fried chicken, mac’ and cheese, and coleslaw are on offer at Downtown’s new ritzy barbecue joint.
Community Newspaper Group / Megan Riesz

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