Chicken Town

A not-for-profit restaurant which offered a delicious alternative to the growing number of chicken shops on the high street

Chicken Town was open in Tottenham from October 2015 to December 2017.  Almost one in four reception age children is overweight or obese in the local area. By the time they get to Year 6, that figure rises to more than one in three. Within a mile of the restaurant there are 34 fast food outlets offering cheap, calorific food that is accessible, affordable and for many young people, a key part of their regular diet. In the context of a city-wide obesity crises, the project offered young people the opportunity to explore a much healthier way of enjoying fast food and encouraged them to think about the origins of what they are eating. The project was located in a former fire station on Tottenham Green, the interior of which was designed by Turner Prize-winning architecture and design practice Assemble. Chicken Town served the whole community, offering both family meal deals and an evening destination bar and high-quality fast, casual food. Takings from the evening trade went towards subsidising daytime £2 Junior Specials, offering local young people with a healthier lunch or after school meal. As well as encouraging healthy eating in the area, the project offered opportunities for training, mentoring and real jobs and a programme of healthy eating and food growing for local primary schools and families.

Over the two years of operation, the restaurant trained and recruited 30 members of staff, served over 30,000 customers and engaged with 6 primary schools and local community groups. The space hosted music nights for local young people, alongside film screenings and a programme of special events. Following the end of the project, all staff were taken on by the restaurant group Bistrotheque, led by local business owner Pablo Flack. Bistrotheque are aiming to re-open the site at the Old Firestation later in 2018 and to support a programme of further local employment, local food growing and healthy eating projects with local primary schools and local families.