Chicago community

Gladstone Park’s North Branch Fried Chicken celebrates 2 years with free pork sliders and chicken sandwiches

GLADSTONE PARK – A popular fried chicken and barbecue sauce company is giving away sliders to celebrate its second anniversary.

North Branch Fried Chicken, which opened its Gladstone Park restaurant in June 2020 at 5481 N. Northwest Highway, specializes in Chicago-style barbecue sauces, rubs, savory jams, compotes and casual chicken dishes.

The casual eatery will host a Father’s Day pop-up market with other local vendors in partnership with the Jefferson Park Farmers Market from 4-8 p.m. Thursday.

The market event will serve as a birthday party with free pulled pork sliders with the restaurant’s signature North Branch Windy City barbecue sauce, as well as fried chicken sandwiches. The goal is to “bring people together in our community,” said owner and chef John Badal, of Edison Park.

Since opening, North Branch Fried Chicken has held micro markets to support other entrepreneurs, donated meals to local law enforcement, and hosted events that have raised over $6,000 for schools and communities. local parishes, Badal said.

“We have great food at great value for the community – it’s the community that has helped and rooted for us all the time,” Badal said.

The restaurant is set to lead the kitchen of Lake Effect Brewing Company’s future firehouse brewery in Jefferson Park. The owners of the brewery had hoped it would open this summer, but plans for the project have been delayed.

Badal, who runs the business with his wife, said it has been difficult to operate during the pandemic, but he is grateful for loyal customers and hopes to partner with more business owners.

North Branch Fried Chicken doesn’t serve alcohol because applying for a liquor license costs money the company doesn’t have, though Badal hopes that will happen one day. For now, he’s not letting that slow his sales, he said.

“Every day I walk into this store feels like the first day. … You learn on your feet, you keep running with it – you remember what good food is,” he said.

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