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Chicken + Whiskey’s DMV Domination Continues With New Clarendon Digs

The fast-growing brand brings South American rotisserie and Old Fashioneds to Arlington

Chicken + Whiskey’s slow-roasted chicken comes in quarter, half, or whole portions.
Chicken + Whiskey
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Chicken + Whiskey, the D.C.-born destination for Peruvian poultry and brown liquor, broke into Virginia this week with the opening of its fourth location.

The sprawling new chicken shack at Clarendon Square (3303 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia) comes from Maryland-based Star Restaurant Group (Doi Moi, The Walrus Oyster & Ale House). The Arlington arrival means the entire tri-state area is now home to a Chicken + Whiskey, with two others in D.C. (Logan Circle and Navy Yard) and one more in Maryland (Columbia).

The walk-up ordering situation at Chicken + Whiskey.
Chicken + Whiskey

The choice to go to Arlington is ambitious, considering the area’s longtime Peruvian chicken standard-bearer El Pollo Rico is a 10-minute walk away.

Chicken + Whiskey got its start in 2017 in a historic 14th Street NW row home with help from acclaimed Venezuelan chef Enrique Limardo (TheSaga, Immigrant Food, Imperfecto). Chicken + Whiskey’s namesake order undergoes a 12-hour brine before getting the slow-cooked treatment over wood charcoal.

Silver platters starring pollo a la brasa, starting at $11.49 for a quarter chicken, come with a choice of two sides like beans, yuca fries, sweet plantains, roasted corn and tomato salad, and queso-slathered macaroni. Cassava-coated chicken strips, served with ají amarillo or homemade barbecue sauce, also remain a top seller.

Arepas (crispy ground corn patties) house pulled chicken, crispy chicharrones, or stewed black beans for vegetarians.
Chicken + Whiskey

The 5,700-square-foot edition marks its biggest dining and bar space yet, with room for 177 inside and 46 across its outdoor patio. Upon entering, guests swing left to encounter the fast-casual chicken joint or turn right to saddle up to the whiskey bar. Like Chicken + Whiskey’s other outposts, there’s 99 bottles (of whiskey) on the wall showcasing both rare domestic and international brands.

Summer-ready cocktails from SRG partner Kris Carr include the Sunburned Becky (Skyy vodka, raspberry, lime, and Jarritos mandarin soda) and Slip n’ Slide (Jim Beam bourbon, Dolin Blanc, jasmine, and grapefruit). For a quick buzz, there’s picklebacks, green tea shots, and a “Cinnamon Toast crunch remix” of Rumchata and Ilegal mezcal. Weekday happy hour (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Tuesday ‘til 9 p.m.) features 25 percent-off whiskeys, $8 “O.G.” Old Fashioneds, and $9 Toki highballs and cocktails. And guava-passion fruit pisco punch is almost always $8.

The ginger beer-and-rum cocktail at Chicken + Whiskey hits different.
Chicken + Whiskey
Chicken + Whiskey settles into the foot of a Clarendon office building.
Chicken + Whiskey

Bar snacks born in Navy Yard head to Clarendon and include Tajin-spiced wings, churro doughnuts, arepitas, and pulled chicken wrapped in a nacho cheese-crusted flour tortilla.

Food is served 11 a.m. 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and until 3 a.m. on weekends, with bar service from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. and starting at 11 a.m. from Friday to Sunday and until as late as 3 a.m. on Friday and 2 a.m. on Saturday. DJs spin on the whiskey bar side every weekend, with co-founder and former DJ Chuck Koch manning the overall music vibe.

Grand opening plans on Friday, June 16, call for $5 lunch (pollo a la brasa with two sides), happy hour prices on cocktails, beer, and whiskeys until 9 p.m., and raffles to win free chicken for a year and a $150 bar tab.

The booming Clarendon corridor, which welcomed NYC seafood import Seamore’s last fall, will soon add sizzling noodles to the mix with the opening of iconic pan-Asian chain Wagamama.