Eater readers have asked for an update on The Crack Shack, which has been swiftly taking shape at the corner of Juniper and Kettner and is due by the second week of November. Though it has the same leadership, including owner Michael Rosen, executive chef Richard Blais, chef de cuisine Jon Sloan and general manager Dan Pena, this second Little Italy project from the Juniper & Ivy team will have a much more relaxed approach to food and service; while Juniper & Ivy's deviled eggs have a delicate meringue base and a garnish of mustard caviar, The Crack Shack's deviled eggs will be traditional in structure, with creative flavorings and toppings.
Ordered at a walk-up counter, The Crack Shack's menu mainly centers around chicken (organic free range Jidori) cooked on a woodfire grill or deep fried— the latter available in five to ten-piece portions with an array of housemade sauces, from harissa chimichurri to kimchi barbecue. Grilled and fried chicken will also figure into sandwiches, built on house baked English muffins, that will include five breakfast versions available starting at 7 a.m.
Bradley Austin, an alum of fast-casual Tender Greens who joined Juniper & Ivy at its inception, will lead the kitchen here while notable bartender Eric Johnson will run the bar program, which ranges from 20 draft beers to eight wines on tap and a craft cocktail list that includes variations on mimosas and micheladas.
Open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, The Crack Shack's outdoor layout is designed for all-day drinking and eating, with 100 seats available at shaded picnic tables, a 12-seat bar and a drink rail facing Kettner Boulevard. Bluemotif Architecture (Kettner Exchange) designed the space as the ultimate party deck, which will include three TVs, a bocce ball court and a gas fire pit and fireplace.