Skip to Content
Food & Drink

Side Chick Has Abruptly Closed

Sexist chicken is out in Lyn-Lake.

10:21 AM CDT on June 15, 2022

two side by side photos: on the left, side chick's sign as viewed from the street, and on the right, the sign in their window reading "sorry fam, side chick has closed. thanks for your love and support."
Jessica Armbruster

Almost exactly a year after opening, Side Chick—Justin Sutherland's Lyn-Lake fried-chicken restaurant—has closed. A hand-scrawled sign posted in the window earlier this week bears the news.

People were not happy about Side Chick when it opened last year, a rare misstep for celebrated chef Sutherland (Handsome Hog, Iron Chef, Fast Foodies, that season of Top Chef). Heavy Table, which also first noticed Side Chick's online disappearance, did the heavy lifting in reporting on the controversy in June.



People were justifiably pissed about the branding, which "reaffirms that women can be marketed as pieces of meat and as objects, and not as whole human beings,” according to Melody Hoffmann, professor at Anoka-Ramsey Community College (and now editor of Southwest Voices). As a frequent visitor to the fourth-floor Hooters at the Mall of America, I politely nodded through the discourse.

Closing after a year is never a great sign, which probably means a majority sided with critics, or Sutherland and co. saw that their critics had a point, or some combination of the two. Side Chick's Instagram account has disappeared, and their Facebook profile has been scrubbed of posts, with the same URL but a new name—Luna Uptown—and a bio that promises "New vibes coming soon 🌚"

(That little moon is a perfect emoji, isn't it? Gotta think top five.)

And it looks like Sutherland is still involved—"Head Chef: Justin Sutherland," per the updated Facebook bio. That guy loves keeping busy; in addition to Luna Uptown, he'll soon open Noyes & Cutler steakhouse in Lowertown, and earlier this month the celeb chef debuted an egg sandwich shop called Big E in Portland, Oregon.

Racket's two cents? Open a Big E in Uptown! We need more breakfast sandwich joints in the Twin Cities!

Update: Axios reports that Justin Sutherland will not be involved at the new Luna Uptown; he left in 2021, according to a spokesperson.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Racket

Drama at Mia: Controversial Termination, ‘Toxic’ Work Environment Allegations

Plus Dean Phillips campaign gets deeply weird, leaked ShotSpotter intel, and how's Lindell holding it together in today's Flyover news roundup.

‘There Is No Room for Hiding’: How Krump Created a Dance Community in Minnesota

The L.A.-born dance style, built around communal support, has a home in Minnesota.

February 23, 2024

Freeloader Friday: 52 Free Things To Do This Weekend

Book sales! A Black-owned business market!

February 23, 2024

Folks… He’s Running

Plus 'The Daily Show' visits Duluth, Japanese burgers, and violent beer in today's Flyover news roundup.