TWO independent businesses in Worcester have collaborated to open a new fried chicken restaurant.

Yard Fried Chicken, in the heart of the city, is the brainchild of Sam Smith, owner of Wayland’s Yard Coffee Shop in Foregate Street.

Mr Smith has partnered with city bar owner, Mat Pugh, from The Hand in Glove and launched the fried chicken restaurant above the pub in College Street.

The launch event took place on the weekend of Friday, October 9 and it was described as a “hit.”


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Mr Pugh, aged 39, said: “I was getting The Hand in Glove prepared to reopen again, it was closed for about six months.

“I thought to myself it would really struggle if I don’t have a food element.

“That is kind of how it is now. Wet led pubs are quiet, and you need a food offering these days.

“I thought about doing pop ups and getting different people at different weekends.

“I put it out there to Sam and he said he was looking for somewhere to launch his fried chicken idea from properly.”

Mr Pugh said the business has been really busy on weekends since the launch, and he’s hoping to extend the hours.

As it stands, Yard Fried Chicken is currently open every Friday 5pm to 9pm and Saturdays from 12pm to 9pm.

Mr Pugh, who also owns The Firefly in Lowesmoor and Hop Lords Bottle Shop in Pump Street, said: “If we are able to be open this weekend we will be fully booked.

“It’s gone down really well – the cocktails, the craft beer and their fried chicken is a really good recipe, it works.

“We’re only two weeks in, we don’t know where we’re going to take it yet.

“We would like to go full time – we have spoken about the idea of doing a Wayland’s inspired Sunday lunch.

“If we go into another lockdown, when things reopen again I want to look at having the chicken on more often.”

Although the restaurant’s market is for chicken lovers, vegetarian and vegan options are also available for herbivores to enjoy.

A veggie option includes Boffola Jackfruit Bun which is slow cooked buffalo style jackfruit, pickled slaw, ranch dressing, and gherkins in a brioche bun.