Glencoe, Community

Feeling peckish? Glencoe’s newest restaurant — Honey Butter Fried Chicken — is open for business

The air wasn’t the only thing that was new and crisp over the last few days in Glencoe.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken began providing its namesake product over the weekend at its new Glencoe location, 668 Vernon Ave., and cut the ribbon on the restaurant with help from the local chamber of commerce on Tuesday, Jan. 16.

Honey Butter debuted its first store 10 years ago in the Avondale neighborhood in Chicago. The Glencoe spot is its second location.

“It feels great. We love being up here and the community is amazing,” said Josh Kulp, Honey Butter’s co-owner. “Everyone is just so excited. We’re really looking forward to welcoming everybody in.”

Kulp and co-owner Christine Cikowski have partnered with the Kadens family, of Glencoe, to bring the new restaurant to life. Pete Kadens, a well-known Chicagoland entrepreneur and prolific philanthropist, owned the previous restaurant at the same spot, Poppy’s Social, which opened in September of 2021 before closing in the summer of 2022. 

Kulp and Cikowski first teamed up in culinary school nearly two decades ago. During a small kitchen mishap, the duo stumbled upon the idea of a honey butter-and-chicken union and started a business around it.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken brings a menu to Glencoe that is similar to the Chicago location’s offerings — a variety of chicken dishes, from plates and strips to sandwiches and salads, as well as pie from Bang Bang Pie and Biscuits, a Chicago favorite, and its trademark lemonade.

But Glencoe also gets a few additional options. The Glencoe location will offer charbroiled chicken, as a substitutable option for the fried mainstay. A kale crunch caesar salad is also a Glencoe exclusive, as are lemonade slushies that can be made with alcohol.

The restaurant also features draft beer from local breweries.

A Honey Butter Fried Chicken plate with corn muffins and honey butter. | Photo from Honey Butter Fried Chicken

“There’s a lot of excitement around this new restaurant in our downtown,” Glencoe Village Manager Phil Kiraly said during the ribbon-cutting on Tuesday. “It fills out a space that’s been vacant for a while. And our downtown is such a vibrant place. We know (Honey Butter’s) just going to add to that vitality.”

The 4,000-square-foot Glencoe space “features a bright dining room” with “vintage and modern decor,” including a reclaimed barn door from the original building, an expansive skylight, custom wallpaper and art by local artist Silvia Hidalg, according to a press release from the restaurant.

The restaurant offers dine-in and takeout service, as well as a rear outdoor patio when the weather warms. Kulp said Honey Butter hopes to add delivery through DoorDash soon.

Since opening just a few days ago, Cikowski and Kulp have enjoyed the warm welcome.

“It’s such a cool thing to have a restaurant where it is,” Cikowski said. “It is just a cool experience to open in Glencoe. Everybody has been beyond helpful — city officials, the community, neighbors. It feels very tender.

“It’s so nice to have so many people excited to eat our food and see us thrive that it’s been humbling and it’s very lovely.” 

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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