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Exclusive: First look at Bedford's Chicken George ahead of their opening this week

Exclusive: First look at Bedford’s Chicken George ahead of their opening this week

Chicken George, Tavistock Street, Bedford
Chicken George, Tavistock Street, Bedford

Bedford’s latest restaurant Chicken George opens officially this week, and we’ve been given a sneak peek into what’s in store for chicken and sports fans across the town.

Read: Exclusive: Chicken George reveals location of new Bedford restaurant

The family-run business is well known across the area thanks to its award-winning food at its current branches in Luton and Hitchin, so its no surprise the news they were opening on Tavistock Street has been well received.

“We are so excited to be in Bedford and the reaction has been amazing,” Chris Cheah told the Bedford Independent as we took a look around.

“We’ve been at pop-up events at pubs and street food festivals in Bedford already but to now have a permanent space here is really exciting.

“People have been taking photos of our signs and sharing them on social media and we’re constantly being asked when we’re opening, there’s definitely a buzz.”

Sports for the people

With seven screens showing “whatever sport you’re into” Chicken George is calling itself Bedford’s first ‘dedicated wings and sports bar’.

“Of course, we’ll have all the Premiership and Champions League matches on, as well as the early-kick offs and Sunday games, but we’ll also be screening Basketball, Cricket, Rugby, NFL and the big fights too,” adds Chris.

“You can see a screen from almost any part of the building, even the takeaway area and bar, so you won’t miss a piece of the action while you grab some wings.”

Chicken George, Tavistock Street, BedfordAs the team work hard to put the finishing touches together for tonight’s invite-only soft launch, it’s clear that teamwork won’t just be in the sports they’ll be screening.

“We’ve employed about 30 local people of all ages and backgrounds,” says Chris, “and they’ve all been getting stuck in doing everything from building furniture to cleaning.”

There were smiles on everyone’s faces and nothing but a desire to be helpful as we chatted with some of the staff. That’s one of Chicken George’s big appeals, the people.

Part of the community

Just like its other branches in Luton and Hitchin, Chicken George wants to be a part of the community in Bedford.

“We want to be a good employer for the local area and also support local people too,” Chris told us. “We will be a part of the community and have some great ideas about how we’ll do that.

“We’re humbled by the reaction we’ve had at coming to Bedford and we’re feeling very welcome.”

Chris Cheah also doubled down on his commitment to add something positive to the increasingly growing Bedford food scene.

Commenting in May on a friendly ‘wing war’ rivalry with Foxy Wings, Chris said: “They are definitely our competition, but Bedford’s big enough for all of us.”

Today he added, “Bedford’s food scene is the best it’s ever been with some great independent restaurants and bars opening recently, we’re proud to be a part of that.”

Chicken George opens fully this Friday (26 August). They are walk-in-only with being served at the following times:

  • Mon: 12pm – 9pm (striped back menu)
  • Tues to Thurs: 11:30 to 10 pm
  • Fri to Sat: 11:30 to 10:30 pm
  • Sun: 12:00 to 9pm

They’ll be serving the core menu that Chicken George fans already know and love, including their very popular Mango Rubicon and some exclusive menu items just for Bedford, including desserts.

There are also vegetarian and vegan options such as chicken-less burgers and popcorn ‘chicken’ bites. Monthly specials will also be available.

Their outside space will have their food truck in the garden for a “party atmosphere” during good weather.

Legendary wings

Chris’ dad, Ray Cheah, set up the original Luton shop in 1985 after working for KFC. You could say Chicken Wings are in Chris’ blood as he was born in the flat upstairs.

The Luton shop is now legendary and has gone from strength to strength since Chris took over in 2016.

It is now one of the best and most recognisable chicken shops in the country and Chris has served everyone from the England Football team to international hip-hop stars on their private jets.

Chicken George also recently appeared on BBC2’s Britain’s Top Takeaway and was named in the top five.

To find out more follow their Facebook or Instagram pages.

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