Team behind Belzan and Madre bringing 'secret' supper clubs and fried chicken
“Are you sure it’s here?” my mate is asking me as we march over to Mayfield Depot for what’s looking to be one of the most intriguing dining experiences of the year.
We’re late of course, so we’ve missed the chicken and I can’t touch the wine because I’m giving blood the next day (smug wanker) but if the cryptic advertising is anything to go by, there should be a few cans of Mirinda knocking about.
We’ve always wanted to play with that idea of doing a surprise party somewhere that people don’t know about
We arrive at a row of yellow doors on the side of Mayfield Depot on Temperance Street and they’re locked. We’ve fucked it. Or have we? A member of the Lucky Foot team stumbles out for a cigarette and a few more follow. We’ve missed the food but they’re happy to show us around. We walk past the Warehouse Project’s colossal main room and into a side tunnel. Out of the darkness and into the light. There it is. A sight to behold.
A long, candlelit table sprinkled with cans of Mirinda and bottles of orange wine stretches down the middle of the tunnel. Patio heaters flank the table and there’s a PA and decks at the end. Welcome to the Lucky Foot supper club. You’re going to see a lot of pictures of it in the near future.
Sneaking into the city and doing something different
It’s all coming up Madre and Lucky Foot at the moment. Belzan back on Smithdown Road in Liverpool is doing well too but it’s the former two that are about to make waves in Manchester. Mexican-inspired Madre is set to launch in uber-cool powerhouse neighbourhood Kampus whilst the big news this week is that Lucky Foot is taking over a vendor spot at Escape to Freight Island.
Tonight is Manchester’s introduction to Lucky Foot. And what a way to rock up. The space is special, up-lit at the sides and sparse aside from the table in the middle of the room. The theme tonight is “Chicken and Oranj Joose Party” hence the cans of Mirinda and bottles of aforementioned orange wine.
“Free range birds, first class serves” goes the strapline.
The food is fried chicken and if you can’t get to one of the upcoming public supper clubs the lads are planning then you can always head to Escape to Freight Island where Lucky Foot will be setting up (chicken) shop for the foreseeable.
“Lucky Foot is a brand we’ve been toying with for a while and fried and grilled chicken has been a staple of our staff dinner over at Belzan so it’s come about from there. We’ve always messed around with it.” Says Chris Edwards.
Sneak menu peaks reveal grilled and fried chicken portions (thigh, fillet, breast, wings or whole bird) with lucky spice mixes and glaze with three sandwich options. The Henry Cooper burger packs a fried chicken fillet into a potato bun with lettuce, mayo, crispy skin and cheese whilst the Hen Solo combines a spicy thigh with gochujang mayo, cheese and pickles. Plenty of sauce options too, from miso to namm prik, yakitori to ranch.
“It’s accessable and it’s affordable.” Chris says. “It’s a brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously.”
A chicken shop date with the supper club connoisseurs
The lads behind Lucky Foot, Owain, Chris Edwards and chef Sam Grainger, have good form when it comes to supper clubs. A part of the cultural fabric in Liverpool, having founded Filter and Fox (which later relaunched as Volpi) as well as Smithdown’s Belzan, they’ve always dabbled with supper clubs and learned plenty of lessons along the way.
“We put on this event in Liverpool called Midnight Ramen and we had this massive power cut. The vibe was good though and we’ve always wanted to play with that idea of doing a surprise party somewhere that people don’t know about.” Chris says.
“The idea with Lucky Foot is to do one party a month like that at locations throughout Manchester, Liverpool and the North. People would email or text saying they want to come and once we’ve got their number we’d reveal the location on the night. Nobody would know where the location was until 45 minutes before the event.”
The events are as much of a blow-out for the Lucky Foot team as they are for the public, Chris tells me.
Two other venues are already lined up that will be “awesome for parties” and self-confessed “office junkies” Chris, Sam and Owain are looking forward to the evening respite away from their busy schedules managing Lucky Foot, Madre and Belzan. Not to mention an upcoming collaboration with Hawksmoor’s Richard Turner at Escape to Freight Island.
More parties in the works
A May and June party are already planned for Manchester and dates will be released on the Lucky Foot Instagram at the end of the month. Chris advises setting a notification. The first venue can fit about 100 people whilst the second can do around 60.
“We want people to pay a bit of money and have a two or three-hour affair where they get some wine, some good music and good food. A short, sharp shock for your night out and we’re going to make sure they’re on a Friday or a Saturday.” Chris says.
“The great thing about these parties is when they’re a little bit rough around the edges and you’re overdelivering on people’s expectations.”
As we’re leaving on the night we say goodbye to Sam and just before we go, he says he’d love to throw one of the supper clubs in a chicken shop. “Let me know if you say any good ones that might be up for it.”
Manchester, over to you.
Lucky Foot, Escape to Freight Island, 11 Baring St, Manchester M1 2PZ
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