King of the Coop fried chicken restaurant next to St. Pet

One of Tampa’s most popular fried chicken spots is coming to St. Petersburg as the King of the Coop opened a new location on 22nd Street across from Tyrone Square in late January. Famous for its hot chicken in Nashville, the King of the Coop first opened in 2019 and has already been voted Tampa Bay’s best fried chicken two years in a row.

The counter-service fast food restaurant offers a hearty and delicious menu with a heavy Southern influence, featuring baskets of tender chicken, fried catfish, sandwiches, and even ready-made chicken and waffles, plus seven different types of sauces to choose from. Besides the main dishes, sides include marinated french fries, cheesy macaroni, collard greens, puppies and a coleslaw salad. And don’t forget to save room for dessert—big cups of homemade Bourbon Banana Pudding are the sweet ending to all the salty stars.

And some good news for gluten-averse: King of the Coop offers “gluten-friendly” fried chicken that’s made with a gluten-free mixture that contains no eggs, milk, or flour, although they do make sure to mention that the chicken is made in the same kitchen as the others. A food product that contains gluten.

Owner Joe Dodd said the St. Pete location will have its own personality, and he also said he’ll be adding fried whole chicken wings to the menu shortly after opening, a former favorite from his King of the Coop days. For now, they’re aiming for a big opening in late January with plans to expand Uber Eats delivery all the way to downtown St. Pete, making it easier for anyone in town to get their hands on great fried chicken.

The community-led King of the Coop is excited to make an impact in St Pete

“We are really excited to cross the bridge,” Dodd said. “People have been asking for it and it has been on our radar for several years. We are very community driven and want to become a part of that community and invest in it again.”

The King of the Coop got its start when Dodd, a longtime chef with a deep appreciation for Southern food and soul, gained fame for his spicy Nashville chicken and fried catfish through Soul Food Street Kitchen, a quick-service restaurant inside Armature Works in Tampa. With more and more people interested in its fried benefits, Dodd and his wife decided it was time to branch out and open their own restaurant.

Since opening in Seminole Heights in 2019, the King of the Coop has added a second location in Wesley Chapel and is now looking to bring the concept to ‘Burg’. The King of the Coop’s St. Pete at 6928 22nd Avenue North.

As part of their dedication to the community, Dodd and his wife founded Coop Cares which helps support under-resourced communities and provides the building blocks for developing successful leaders in the culinary arts. As their vision states, the goal is to “provide nourishment for the human soul through the power of food.”

Stay connected with I Love the Burg for grand opening news, and check kingofthecoop.com for the full list and more information.

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