NEW YORK -- French Toast, Waldorf Salad, Butter Raisin Biscuit. This might sound like the start of a brunch menu, but at New York City's Double Chicken Please, it's actually a cocktail list.
"We were turning a dish into a drink in the beginning just because we love to eat," co-founder and general manager Faye Chen explains with a laugh. Her current favorite is the Cold Pizza, a cocktail that features tequila infused with burnt toast and cheese, basil cordial, fresh tomato water, a squeeze of lime, and egg white.
Unexpected drinks like this have become a defining feature of the bar that has taken the world by storm. Last year, it caught the attention of the World's 50 Best Bars, an annual list that ranked Double Chicken Please at #6, catapulting it to the forefront of the international cocktail bar scene.
"I think before we opened this place we definitely thought about it. Like, okay, one day we want to get into the world's best 50, but once we really got it, it's really kind of blown my mind," Chen says.
When Double Chicken Please opened in 2020, it had been a long time coming. Chen and her co-founder GN Chan spent years dreaming of opening their own bar and had already taken the idea for a test drive by touring the country in a 1977 Volkswagen minibus converted into a mobile bar.
When they found their permanent Allen St. location on Manhattan's Lower East Side, the duo got to work creating the perfect swanky environment to complement their cocktail menu. They took an unconventional approach, settling on a dual concept that divided the bar into two rooms. The Front Room serves batch-made cocktails on tap, nicknamed Taptails, while the Back Room is where guests will find a more intimate, handcrafted cocktail experience.
The rapid success of Double Chicken Please has largely come from the talent and dedication of Chen, Chan, and the team they have assembled around them. According to Chen, her team is what keeps her motivated each and every day.
"In the beginning, definitely we were young and we had this ambition. We wanted to achieve something," Chen explains. "But now, Double Chicken Please is not just me and GN's dream anymore; it's for our entire team. So I think that's one of the reasons that keeps me doing what I'm doing every day. This is also part of their dream, part of their future."