The Downlow Chicken Shack: Vancouver's first Nashville hot chicken spot arrives on the Drive

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      If you love spicy food and fried chicken, we suggest marking your calendars for an upcoming restaurant opening in the city.

      The Downlow Chicken Shack (905 Commercial Drive) is gearing up to open Vancouver’s first Nashville hot chicken joint next week (June 13), which features a type of deep-fried chicken that originated from the Southern U.S. state of Tennessee.

      Co-owners Doug Stephen and Lindsey Mann (who also own Merchant’s Workshop) perfected their Nashville hot chicken recipe a few years ago, creating a mouthwatering dish that is served at their dining establishment on a rotating basis.   

      “We’ve been serving our hot chicken at Merchant’s Workshop for a few years now,” Stephen said in a press statement. “It was our Sunday special, and guests and [the] industry really took to it. Soon, we were selling out. Lines formed, and people started saying we should’ve kept it on the “down-low”, which is where the name comes from.”

      Downlow’s hot chicken is characterized by its crispy skin and spicy flavours, where the latter is created from a signature paste blended with hot spices. After taking your first bite, it won’t be hard to understand why this Southern dish has amassed a cult-like following among chicken-lovers.

      Asides from the chicken, sandwiches and macaroni salad are on the menu.
      The Downlow Chicken Shack

      Guests will be able to choose their chicken’s heat level, which range from mild to medium, hot to extra-hot, and “A Side of Milk”—for those who are brave enough to endure extreme spiciness. A quarter bird ($9) and whole birds ($32) are on offer. Other menu items include hot-chicken breast sandwiches on white bread, wings, coleslaw, corn bread, pickes, macaroni salad, and fries. 

      Weekly specials will be introduced in the future, such as a hot fish plate. Peach sweet tea and other drinks will be available, because some of us will need to quench our thirst more often than others—hot chicken is no joke.

      The 1,000-square-foot space can accommodate 24 guests, with eight seats at the bar. A patio will be set up once the spot is up and running.

      “It’s going to be cashier-service but we are going to bring you your order, and it’s going to be first-come, first-serve,” said Stephen. “We want this to be a place that’s buzzing with activity, with friendly faces, and great music. We are going to let our chicken speak for itself. Everything is made-to-order. We want DL to be the destination for fried chicken in the city.”

      Downlow's chicken burgers.
      The Downlow Chicken Shack

       

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      Places to go nearby

      Approx. 15 minutes away

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