New fried chicken restaurant takes off in Richmond during pandemic

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Richmond’s food industry has seen several restaurant closings throughout the pandemic, but it has also seen its share of openings.

Richmond’s food industry has seen several restaurant closings throughout the pandemic, but it has also seen its share of openings.It appears that fear of COVID-19 does not entirely quench their appetite to go out and stay connected, as long as security protocols are followed.

Free Bird Table and Bar, which broke into and took over Ceili’s pub on Westminster Highway, opened in mid-June and offers Southern-style dishes made with local ingredients.

Their signature dishes are their hot Nashville chicken sandwich and their fried chicken with waffles, according to David Lew, chief executive of Free Bird.

“Free Bird is meant to be a place of community comfort and gathering and to bring people together through food,” Lew said.

Claire Wright, managing director of Hydra Vancouver, which also helps run Free Bird, said the decision to open the restaurant was delayed for three months due to COVID-19, but it didn’t have them at all prevented from opening the restaurant.

“Opening up into a global pandemic was something we never thought we would do, but we have worked hard together and are striving to open up this warm and welcoming place during this difficult time,” Wright said.

Lew told the Richmond News that “everyone” is struggling with COVID-19, but like all other businesses and restaurants in the community, they follow safety protocols.

“We want people to enjoy their food feeling safe, but also connected,” Lew said.

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