UPTOWN — Pecking Order, a popular Filipino chicken restaurant, served its last dinner in Uptown Saturday night.
Chef Kristine Subido opened the shop for the last time Saturday morning, and anticipated a bittersweet departure from a business she opened with her mother Melinda two years ago at 4416 N. Clark St.
"Today's the last day. I really want to make this a celebration," she said. "What I want to do is invite the people who have been really loyal, or anybody who is a friend of Pecking Order, just to come by, and I want to say goodbye to them."
She said she'll miss the Uptown community, and the regulars who frequented Pecking Order.
"I know every face, I know everybody who has walked in there just because I've touched and greeted every one of them there in the past two years," said Subido, a former executive chef at Wave.
Foot traffic can be an obstacle in Uptown, according to Subido, who said it's something that hurt her business during its two-year run. Last fall, the restaurant stopped serving lunch on weekdays, focusing on dinner and weekend brunch while taking on more catering work to help its bottom line. She also said her kitchen was very small, and "a challenging space to work in."
"Things happen and sometimes locations don't work out...some things don't add up, and you want to retool," she said. "At the end of the day it's a business decision."
Subido, 40, said she's also looking forward to spending more time with her kids.
"Right now, I just want to refocus and take care of what's mine, and take care of the family," said Subido, who has a 10-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.
The chef, who has a Filipino background and lives in Albany Park, opened the restaurant to pay homage to the generations of her family who passed down their foodie tendencies and recipes that made their way into Pecking Order's dishes, in particular, the house-made marinades used on its signature chicken dishes.
The recipe was passed down from her great-grandfather to her grandfather, a former butcher in the Philippines, to her mother and eventually to her.
Though the store is closing, the Pecking Order brand will now focus more on catering, pop-up dinners, special events and farmer's markets, including the Low-Line Market outside the Southport Brown Line station every Thursday, and The Nosh, a lunch market Downtown every Thursday and Friday, where Pecking Order will appear every other Thursday.
Subido said fans of the restaurant can follow the restaurant on Facebook to stay abreast of what the Pecking Order brand is doing, and how they can get a taste of it. She said she's open to opening another brick-and-mortar rendition of Pecking Order in the future, and will eventually start seeking spaces for the restaurant's rebirth at a yet-undetermined date.
"I know people love the food, and I don't think I'm quite done with that yet; I just want to find the right space, the right place for Pecking Order," she said.
And, as Subido emphasized, "it's not completely gone. If anything it will be coming to your job, it will be coming to your home."
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