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Dough Bird Photos courtesy of Fox Restaurant Concepts

Sam Fox debuts new Doughbird concept

Newest mix-and-match menu features pizza and rotisserie chicken

Fox Restaurant Concepts LLC, creator of such growing brands as Flower Child, True Food Kitchen and North, this week pulled the wraps of its latest concept, Doughbird Pizza & Rotisserie, in its headquarters city of Phoenix, Ariz.

The 5,500-square-foot new construction restaurant, the 16th concept from Phoenix-based founder Sam Fox, opened Tuesday and features rotisserie meats with a selection of sides and sauces and organic-flour pizzas as well as appetizers, salads, sandwiches, desserts and a full bar. 

“The rotisserie uses really high-quality meats, mostly chicken but we do a prime rib and some specials,” said Fox in an interview. “The pizzas are flavors that I loved growing up, so there are things like a crispy pastrami pizza — my dad had a Jewish deli when I was growing up, so I’m a big pastrami and corned beef guy. I’m basically using the pizza as a palette for high quality ingredients.”

Doughbird’s rotisserie meats come with a one side, such as cauliflower mash or quinoa tabbouleh, and one of nine sauces, the most popular three being chipotle barbeque, spicy buffalo hot sauce and Jamaican jerk marmalade.

“We’re now in Day Three,” he said, “and the sauces and sides are the differentiator for us. So many people can eat there in different ways. Today, customers want to design their own meal. The rotisserie really allows that.”

Fox said Doughbird attracts business people for lunch and families in the evening. Doughbird offers a special kid’s menu.

“The last couple of our places had such a focus on health, with True Food Kitchen and Flower Child, this is obviously a little more indulgent than that,” Fox said.

The restaurant features about 160 seats inside and between 50 and 60 on the patio, he said.

Prices range from $13 for a barbecue pulled chicken salad to $14-$16 for pizzas. The rotisserie half chicken at $17 (whole bird at $24) has been very popular in the first few days, Fox said. Pizzas offer culinary twists, such as a pastrami version with aged gruyere, pickled mustard seed, purple kale and rye. The most popular is the pepperoni and burrata.

The design features stark-white walls and wood accents. Floor-to-ceiling windows and bow-truss ceilings help focus attention on the exposition kitchen and the wood-burning pizza oven in blue subway tile. 

A full bar wraps around Doughbird’s exposition kitchen, and it serves wine, beer and specialty cocktails. A dessert menu offers Warm Butterscotch Cream Cake and “The Elvis,” a confection of peanut butter and chocolate parfait, banana, whipped cream and bacon sandies.

Fox said there are no immediate plans for a second Doughbird.

“Our goal is to open one great restaurant,” he said. “We want to execute at a high level, and we’ll know sooner rather than later if there will be more than one. Our guests will tell us. In three, four or five months, we’ll know if there will be more than one. We don’t like to get too far ahead of ourselves.” 

Fox has created several concepts that have drawn the interesting of multi-unit restaurant companies. Calabasas Hills, Calif.-based Cheesecake Factory in November made minority investments in Fox’s North and Flower Child concepts. P.F. Chang’s China Bistro has an investment in Fox’s True Food Kitchen, which recently opened its 18th restaurant.

Fox Restaurant Concepts has more than 50 restaurants in nine states, including such other brands as The Arrogant Butcher, Blanco Tacos + Tequila, Culinary Dropout, The Greene House, The Henry, Juby True, Little Cleo’s Seafood Legend, Olive & Ivy Restaurant & Marketplace, Wildflower American Cuisine and Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar. 

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

Correction: June 21, 2017
This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Doughbird.
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