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20-Year Fried Chicken Veteran Honey’s Kettle Plots New Expansion

Eater logo Eater 6/30/2020 Farley Elliott
a hot dog on a bun next to a pile of fries: Honey’s Kettle © Stan Lee Honey’s Kettle

Honey’s Kettle has long been considered one of the best spots for classic comfort food — specifically fried chicken — anywhere in greater Los Angeles. Now the 20-year-old Culver City restaurant is plotting its first big expansion yet, with plans to open at least two new delivery-only kitchens across the city. Fans have long braved notorious LA traffic and hefty lines for the restaurant’s signature fried chicken, but now it will be available via Postmates, GrubHub, Uber Eats, and other delivery apps.

The new no-storefront locations are called Honey Drop Kitchen, and will feature some of the signature items from the mind of owner Vincent Williams. In an interview today, Williams said that the decision to expand now, after years of operating only the downtown Culver City location, came down to a mix of “perseverance and patience, but mostly patience.” His children are now working with him at the family store, Williams said, and it became important to offer them a larger legacy. Williams himself started as a franchise owner in a different fried chicken restaurant decades ago, before flipping a Compton space in 1999 into the first Honey’s Kettle. The restaurant moved locations to Culver City in 2005.

Williams, a Southern California native, says it helps that the timing is right, too. Business has been brisk at the Black-owned restaurant thanks in part to an outpouring of community support during and after the immediate anti-police brutality protests surrounding the death of George Floyd, and with the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, opening a second physical space any time soon simply didn’t seem prudent.

And so, Honey Drop Kitchen was born. The first two kitchen-only locations arrive in Downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood, respectively, with plans to push farther into the Westside down the line. The Downtown location starts up service on July 6, keeping hours from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. As for the menu, expect everything from fried chicken meals for the whole family (available in eight-piece and 20-piece boxes), a fried chicken sandwiches, baked goods like chicken sausage and egg bakes, and a variety of pies sold by the slice.

To ramp up ahead of the official opening on July 6, Honey Drop Kitchen is doing a weekend of limited deals on Uber Eats only, including a drumstick, fries, biscuit, and pickles box for $4 for the first 100 people who order.

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