Fried chicken chain The Crack Shack to open in Lehi
Courtesy The Crack Shack
A restaurant chain with a unique monicker is set to open its second Utah location in Lehi. The Crack Shack, a Southern California-based fried chicken eatery, is set to open at 1085 E. Main St. this spring.
The Crack Shack was started in 2015 by the team that created Juniper and Ivy, a popular fine-dining restaurant in San Diego. The Crack Shack was a way for the team to utilize an abandoned shack next to Juniper and Ivy, as well as provide high-quality food for those seeking a less formal dining option.
“The idea was to create a chef-driven, fast-casual restaurant that was right next door to our fine-dining restaurant that would be an expression of how we look at food,” said Dan Pena, director of operations for The Crack Shack. “So it’s an ingredient-driven restaurant with local produce, local bread makers, ice cream makers, local spirits and beer companies … so it’s a fun restaurant.”
The Crack Shack’s menu features their signature fried chicken, along with sandwiches, fries, bowls and desserts. The company partners with local businesses for every location they open, and Lehi will be no different. The menu will feature Rockwell Ice Cream, as well as bread from Salt Lake City’s Stoneground Bakery.
“Whenever we move into a new community, we want to make sure we are a part of that community and that we’re not just serving our food in different places,” Pena said. “We’re going to be using local produce companies as well as beverage options from local purveyors. We want to make sure that we’re a part of the local food community and that we’re adding to the conversation locally and not taking away from it.”
Courtesy The Crack Shack
The company’s emphasis on partnering with local businesses is why no two Crack Shack locations provide exactly the same experience.
“You’ll have different bread, you’ll have different ice cream, you’ll have different produce. There will be slight tweaks here and there to the menu just because of that,” Pena said. “You’ll have a totally different experience depending on the area.”
With locations already in California, Colorado and Nevada, the first Crack Shack in Utah opened in Salt Lake City’s popular 9th and 9th neighborhood in December 2021. According to Pena, the company chose Lehi for its second Utah location when the Savory Restaurant Fund, the Lehi-based restaurant investment company that The Crack Shack has partnered with, found a location that seemed almost too good to be true.
“We had a fantastic location that we could not say no to that Andrew Smith found for us right off of Lehi Main,” Pena said. “And when you have a location like that and a community that we feel will enjoy what we’re doing as much as Lehi will, it’s hard to say no.”
Pena and the team at The Crack Shack don’t want the restaurant to feel like just another fried chicken chain, but rather a place for the community to gather.
“The one in Lehi will have 85 to 100 seats in total,” Pena said. “It’s a place for families and couples and friends to come hang out on a Friday and Saturday night as well as it’s great for after soccer games or baseball games for large gatherings, so there’s a little bit of everything for everyone there.”
Although it isn’t set in stone, Pena hopes The Crack Shack’s Lehi location will open at the end of April.
“We’re excited to be a part of your community,” Pena said.