The Cully food renaissance is now in full party mode.
Mega-popular Mexican rotisserie chicken restaurant Pollo Norte plans to expand and open a parking-lot beer patio out of a walk-in cooler. Pollo Norte's cooler will not only expand the storage space for the restaurant, it will likely serve as the linchpin in a planned eight-cart food pod on Northeast 42nd Avenue run by realtor Rambo Halpern.
"We've already got the walk-in cooler built," says chef and co-owner Kelly Shelton. "The patio is there, we'll put some furniture in there. It should be rockin'... Once they get the food-cart situation squared away, we're pretty sure we've secured exclusive rights on selling beer and a wine."
The beer patio is good news for Pollo Norte fans for more than one reason. Not only does it mean outdoor seating for the tiny spot, but the walk-in cooler also gives Pollo Norte extra capacity so it doesn't run out of chicken—something Shelton says already hardly happens anymore.
The first food cart moving in alongside Pollo Norte in the pod? A second location of Kim Jong Grillin', chef Han Le Hwang confirmed with WW. The bibimbap and kimchi dog spot was one of our favorite five new food carts of the year, after re-opening following a disastrous 2011 fire.
"We're looking forward to having Han here," says Shelton. "We really like his food." Halpern says he hopes to get the cart pod open just in time for summer.