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Fried Chicken Sandwich Shop Queen Mother’s Is Leaving D.C.’s Virtual Food Hall

November 8 will be the new brand’s last day at Ghostline in Glover Park

A Korean fried chicken sandwich with pickles and radish from the Queen Mother’s inside Ghostline
A Korean fried chicken sandwich with pickles and radish from the Queen Mother’s inside Ghostline
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Queen Mother’s, a new fried chicken sandwich vendor based inside takeout- and delivery-only food hall Ghostline, is leaving the chef’s collective in Glover Park less than three months after appearing in its opening lineup.

Chef Rock Harper, the D.C. area hospitality vet and podcast host behind the chicken sandwich brand, announced in an Instagram post this week that Sunday, November 8, would be the last day for customers to try Queen Mother’s at Ghostline. When reached by Eater, Harper confirmed Queen Mother’s was leaving November 8 and declined to comment on the reasoning behind the move.

Aaron Gordon, the D.C. restaurateur who founded Ghostline, says in a statement sent to Eater that Harper is “starting to look for a new, more permanent home.”

“Rock is wonderful and Queen Mother’s has been a huge hit!” Gordon writes. He goes on to say that Ghostline “always intended to keep our concepts new and fresh. That includes changing them out from time to time.”

Harper, a former executive chef at B. Smith’s who won the third season of Hell’s Kitchen, sells four types of fried chicken sandwiches: a “classic” with Virginia pickles and a Queen’s sauce, a Nashville hot, a spicy Korean flavor with kimchi and cabbage slaw, and a Virginia honey butter style.

Including Queen Mother’s, Ghostline currently houses eight different brands: an alcohol-fueled Ghostbar; breakfast cafe Ghost Dog Egg Man; Red Velvet cupcakes; Glover Park ice cream; Little Beast pizzeria; Ramen by Uzu; and Tokri, which sells Indian khichdi bowls from DC Dosa’s Priya Ammu.

Naomi Gallego, the Little Beast chef who brought Detroit-style pizza to D.C. at Gordon’s Red Light bar, is developing a Tex-Mex option for Ghostline. Soon after Queen Mother’s leaves, new culinary operations director Peter Smith plans add a delicatessen, tentatively called Sandwich Beast, that will sell sandwiches found throughout Jewish and Italian delis.


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