Unapologetic Foods — which includes megahit Dhamaka in Essex Market; Adda in Long Island City; and Michelin-starred Semma in the Village — has rolled out a second location of Rowdy Rooster, the fast-casual spicy chicken spot, now open.
Located at 140 W. 32nd Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues, the fast-casual magnet from Roni Mazumdar and Chintan Pandya, expands the reach of Indian fried chicken. The first Rowdy Rooster launched in the East Village in 2022. This is the first time Unapologetic Foods has opened a duplicate of their restaurant concepts.
“We’re excited to continue the conversation around Indian fried chicken,” says Mazumdar of the standalone location near Penn Station. “Before we opened Rowdy Rooster people did not think it existed but it is deeply rooted in Indian street food culture.”
He says the plan is to “bring it to as many people as possible” in the coming years, though there are no other deals to open future locations in place yet, a spokesperson confirms.
The new space resembles the East Village original with its bold decor and models of roosters in cubbies on the walls. Seats accommodate eight to 10 people with standing room for about the same.
Homemade paneer, various chutneys, and bowls are new to the menu. Sandwiches that come with butter pao and pickled onions start at $10; bowls with seasoned rice and greens are $15 – and choices among those include the original fried; grilled spiced chicken; a hot-and-sour slick option; and a vegetarian paneer pakora. A box of dark or white meat chicken with masala fries for $12 is also on the menu, along with Bengali mustard, mint, tomato, or sesame yogurt among sauces. Like the original, diners can adjust how hot they’d like their spicy chicken. Drinks include Indian soda ($3), Lassi ($5), beer, and wine ($6).
The first Rowdy Rooster launched in the East Village in 2022. When it opened, Mazumdar said, “I think that’s where the whole opportunity lies, is to be able to share a whole different perspective of what fried chicken can be, how it can be consumed, and what it means to a whole different part of the world.” An Eater review noted it’s the kind of fast-casual spot that encourages customers to eat less meat with vegetables — specifically eggplant and potato pakoras — getting the same care and attention as the sourcing and preparation of dark meat chicken. The new location has white meat options while the downtown location does not.
Hours for the newest Rowdy Rooster are seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.