Behind The Name: Vancouver’s Downlow Chicken Shack

The story behind the name of one of Canada's top fried chicken spots

Since opening up on Commercial Drive back in June 2018, Downlow Chicken Shack has maintained its status as one of the top spots for fried chicken in Vancouver, if not in the entirety of Canada.

The city’s first Nashville-style hot chicken-focused concept, Downlow Chicken offers a wide selection of golden, crispy, and juicy chicken in a variety of forms, from thighs, drumsticks, and breasts to sandwiches, strips, and classic comfort food accompaniments such as slaw and baked beans.

“The Name Downlow Chicken came from the origins of us actually frying chicken and making burgers at our old restaurant, Merchants Workshop. We used to offer both our Fried Hot Chicken and Burgers on a late night menu Friday and Saturday nights and it ended up making quite a splash, leading to long lines and wait times,” explains co-owner Doug Stephen.


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“It appears we were a victim of our success as one of our peers in the neighbourhood was kind enough to let the fire department know that we were, in fact, frying without a hood vent or chemical suppression," Stephen continues. "As the fire department rolled in to shut that form of cooking down we realized... we should have kept it on 'The Downlow'.”  

Downlow Chicken Shack is open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.