The Bok Shop, the free range fried chicken and vegan fried 'chikn' eatery from Brighton, has just announced plans to expand by 10 sites in the next 24 months.
As the market recovers from Covid, the industry can expect to see some exciting independents emerge. Born out of Brighton in 2017, four friends from Brighton and London joined forces to create The Bok Shop, championing free-range fried chicken burgers, wings and tenders with an equal focus on vegan creations and home-made sauces.
Founders Jamie O’Mara, Howard Kaye, Saul Burman and Matthew Dimmack teamed up with published chef Adam O’Shepherd to create an authentic chicken shop menu with a Bok Shop twist, and spent over a year on menu-development ahead of opening. With O’Mara and Kaye, both growing up in London, the concept is inspired by the capital’s fried chicken culture.
The menu features contemporary twists on nostalgic street style food with influences from Asia, Southern USA and London. In 2018, after building a local following in Brighton, the team expanded and built a 90-cover restaurant complete with retro arcade machines in Eastbourne’s, The Beacon.
The Bok Shop revenues have surged in 2020 due to the success they achieved from the delivery platforms including their own purpose-built app, ‘Cluck & Collect by The Bok Shop’.
Now, with existing sites in Brighton, Croydon and Eastbourne, the team intend on rolling out to get to 10 operational sites within 24 months including a 100-cover site in Southampton’s West Quay in Summer 2021.
These sites will range from 30-100 cover restaurants to counter style takeaway and delivery sites. Having just secured £1.2 million in funding from a private equity group, their ambitions of an aspirational rollout can be realised.
Co-founder Jamie O’Mara said, “We never in our wildest dreams thought that we would be sharing what we created at our little shop in Brighton with the rest of the U.K. It’s been a hard slog filled with failures and success’, amplified by the pandemic, but all in the name of growth both as individuals and as a company.
'We feel there is a gap in the market for a quality chicken inspired offer like ours, what Honest Burger has done to burgers, or Pizza Pilgrims has done with Pizza. We want to do that for chicken.
'We’ve lived and breathed The Bok Shop and the hospitality industry since opening the doors on East Street in 2017 and we can’t wait to share the journey.'
Harry Cody-Owen, from Bruce Gillingham Pollard who is acting on behalf of The Bok Shop, stated, “The Bok Shop will be one of the next generation of restaurants to emerge from the pandemic as a success and I am delighted to be involved in the roll out.
'They have a great team and a proven model, so if you have any sites in high footfall areas that are around 2,500 sq ft then get in touch!”