Openings and Closings

Is This the Ultimate Fried Chicken Sandwich? Spring Chicken Fort Lauderdale Opens Soon

Back in January we listed the 12 most anticipated restaurant openings of 2016, and one of them is finally ready to hatch. Spring Chicken, the fast casual complement to Miami's Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, has announced the opening date for its latest Fort Lauderdale restaurant.

Following the first Spring Chicken in Coral Gables, the second of four restaurants will open June 10 at 2400 N. Federal Highway in the Whole Foods Market shopping plaza. As the first location in Broward County, the restaurant joins nearby sister establishment and fast-casual chain Lime Fresh Mexican Grill for what founder John Kunkel says is his take on Southern-inspired cuisine.

The opening of Spring Chicken in Fort Lauderdale is the first step in the new chain’s expansion plans. Future locations, slated to open this year, include Miami Beach and Miami International Airport.

"[The move to open] Spring Chicken to Fort Lauderdale is a much-anticipated return back to Broward County for me," says Kunkel. "Lime Fresh Mexican Grill was my last venture north [of Miami], and I am excited to share another fast casual concept with Broward County patrons."

To celebrate the arrival of this Spring Chicken, the restaurant will be hosting a grand opening party on Thursday, June 9, in partnership with Jack & Jill Children’s Center, a nonprofit whose mission is to support impoverished families of Broward County. From 5 to 8 p.m., patrons are invited to sample Spring Chicken with free food and libations. The family-friendly event will include live entertainment, local musicians, and a country-western photo booth. A portion of the restaurant's first-month profits will be donated to the foundation.

For those of you who've never experienced South Beach's Yardbird, the wait is over: The Spring Chicken menu will borrow several of the establishment's most popular dishes, including the award-winning fried chicken created by Kunzel’s grandmother. The chicken — never-frozen meat with no steroids, hormones, or antibiotics — comes from chickens raised on all-vegetarian, pesticide-free corn and soybean feed.

Menu highlights include blue-plate specials that let you mix and match various cuts of chicken; bucket-style family meals that can feed up to four people; Mama's house biscuits baked fresh daily and served with honey butter and seasonal jam; and salads like the Spring Farm, a combination of iceberg and Romaine, baby butter beans, charred corn, carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, seasoned croutons, and crumbled farmers cheese that can be topped with a single or double portion of the restaurant's grilled chicken.

A list of sandwiches also includes menu staples like the Yardbird, considered the "classic" Spring Chicken menu item with its blend of marinated chicken thigh, house butter pickles, and Southern sauce on a toasted potato bun; or the Backyard BBQ with crispy or grilled chicken breast, house-made barbecue sauce, house pickles, and crispy onion strings topped with house coleslaw.

The restaurant also serves beer and wine on tap, fresh-squeezed lemonade, classic hand-spun milkshakes, and an adult-only root beer float made with Coney Island Brewing Co. hard root beer.

Spring Chicken Fort Lauderdale is located at 2400 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Visit

Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.