Billy Durney is planning to open a new restaurant, Hometown Fried Chicken, in Red Hook this June. Durney, who shot to prominence when he opened Hometown Bar-B-Que in Red Hook back in 2013, tells Eater that he intends to "bring back the bucket." Durney also notes that his new venture will have a markedly different business model from Hometown Bar-B-Que, which is mostly a dine-in restaurant.
At Hometown Fried Chicken there will be seating for between 30 and 40 guests, but there will also be a strong focus on delivery and take-out orders. Indeed, if all goes according to plan there will be a special take-out window in the kitchen itself. The restaurant will be located in a 100-year-old building at 329 Van Brunt Street, which was previously the home of Al's Wine & Liquor.
While Durney will be heavily involved in the development of the menu, he is in the process of hiring both a chef to oversee the day-to-day operations, and a pastry chef to make the biscuits and donuts. As for the chicken itself, Durney has yet to settle on a final recipe but has been recipe-testing for nine months. The method of cooking has yet to be determined "The goal is to pan fry in cast iron, but we are going to try different techniques," he says.
Durney is also exploring different frying oils including lard and beef tallow. As with the recipe and the cooking apparatus, the final determination will be made based on exhaustive testing. "We aren't going to open the door until I am satisfied with the product," Durney remarks, unequivocally.
The restaurateur says that the menu will be completely different from Hometown Bar-B-Que, so common items like coleslaw and baked beans will have distinct recipes at Hometown Fried Chicken. The same holds true for the interior design and branding. "It won't look or smell like Hometown Bar-B-Que," says Durney.