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The Crack Shack poised for growth beyond California

San Diego-based fried chicken concept set to open sixth location, in Las Vegas, this summer

High-caliber ingredients meet a no-fuss atmosphere at The Crack Shack, a five-unit fried chicken chain set to expand beyond its home market of California this year.

Led by CEO Michael Rosen and “Top Chef” alum Richard Blais, The Crack Shack marries premium ingredients — Jidori chicken and organic produce and eggs — with counter service and lively spaces featuring patio seating and yard games.

That high-low dichotomy has been part of the brand’s DNA from the start. The first Crack Shack debuted nearly four years ago in a shed adjacent to Blais’ fine-dining restaurant Juniper & Ivy in San Diego.

The upscale fast-casual chain is one of five emerging brands honored by Nation’s Restaurant News in this year’s class of Hot Concept award winnersWinners will be celebrated during the annual MUFSO conference in October. The Hot Concepts awards are sponsored by V&V Supremo.

The chain’s specialty is chicken sandwiches and bone-in fried chicken with the brand’s proprietary “crack spice” blend, but the menu also includes salads, deviled eggs, biscuits, fries, milkshakes and a full bar.

Since its debut in 2015, the brand has opened four more locations in Southern California, including two in Los Angeles last year. Next up: Las Vegas. A Crack Shack is scheduled to open at the Park MGM in August.

Get a closer look at this growing brand.

Contact Christi Ravneberg at [email protected]

MUFSO sponsors:
Kitchen Hero Cookoff Sponsor: Texas Pete 
Presenting Sponsors: Shift4 Payables, Shift Pixy, QU and Valyant AI
Norman Award Sponsor: PepsiCo
Sponsor Partners: 505 Southwestern, Appetize Technologies Inc., CardFree, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, Compaction Technologies, Daiya, Exponential Interactive, Greenberg Traurig, J.R. Simplot Company, New Mexico Department of Agriculture, OpenTable, PACO Collective, Tundra Restaurant Supply, Upshow, Royal Cup Coffee, V&V Supremo and Ventura Foods

Presented by Nation’s Restaurant News, the 60th Annual MUFSO Conference brings together the restaurant industry’s top leaders to share business insights that are laser focused on moving the restaurant industry forward.  MUFSO is scheduled for October 14-16, 2019 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown. For more info visit For sponsorship/exhibit information contact [email protected]   

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