Looks like Momofuku kingpin David Chang’s Fuku really is all grown up: The fast-casual chicken chain will close its original location in the East Village space that Chang has historically used as a concept incubator. It’s outgrown the tiny space at 163 First Ave. at East 10th Street, which also first housed Noodle Bar and Ko before they found their more permanent homes, a representative says.
The space, near and dear to Momofuku as the location that kicked off Chang’s empire, will continue to serve as an incubator — though what else the company has up its sleeves is TBD.
But Fuku’s location count won’t be going down; a new, a larger location at 1145 Broadway at 26th Street in Nomad will open later this year, a rep says. The original Fuku is set to close on Monday, April 30 and is offering special food deals for its last weekend of service, including $1 fries, $6 spicy fried chicken sandwiches, and $3 Hite beers.
Since opening in 2015, Fuku has expanded, with three restaurants in Midtown, Battery Park City, and FiDi, as well as concession locations in Madison Square Garden, Citi Field, and Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. And with more locations on the horizon, including in Boston, it’s clear that Fuku’s reach has grown significantly since it was first brought to the Momofuku incubator space in East Village. While the spicy fried chicken sandwich is the star, the menu now also includes salads, bowls, and sides like a spicy tomato soup.
In more expansion news from the Momofuku empire, the brand’s signature Ssäm Sauce, used in Momofuku kitchens since 2004, will be available for retail nationwide via Amazon. In addition to the original sauce — which combines Korean chili paste with miso, sake, soy sauce, and rice vinegar — Momofuku is releasing two new smoky and spicy variations, also available on Amazon.