Happy Chicks, the chicken tender-obsessed restaurant on East 6th Street, is expanding with a second location in downtown Austin, near the Seaholm District. The 360 Nueces Street restaurant is taking over what had been Nueces Kitchen and Bar née Coast Bar and Kitchen, confirmed by a Poached ad for bartenders and bar backs. The second Happy Chicks doesn’t have a set opening date, but it appears to be happening sometime soon.
Happy Chicks is known first and foremost for its chicken tenders. The fried poultry comes with plentiful sauce options, some ranch-based like buttermilk or avocado poblano, and others like barbecue or Buffalo. There are also cocktails, beers, wines, mac and cheese with bacon, french fries, and jalapeno-cheddar cornbread.
Before Happy Chicks opened on 214 East 6th Street, owner Doug Guller had operated Austin’s first location of the iconic Chicago deep dish pizzeria Gino’s East from 2015 until it closed last summer. He turned the same into the chicken tender restaurant soon after.
Originally, the 360 Nueces location was home to wine bar Mulberry, which closed in the fall of 2015. Mulberry’s chef and general manager, Ruston Richardson and Karina Lopez, turned the space into Coast, a seafood restaurant and bar, which opened in the summer of 2016. Quietly, Richardson left, and a new chef took over the kitchen, Kyle Burns, turning it into Nueces Kitchen and Bar, which focused on an all-encompassing menu from breakfast tacos to sandwiches to Thai chicken wings. That restaurant appears to have closed sometime in the spring.