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Palo Alto's Fowl Play Roadside Chicken shutters for 'maintenance'

Uploaded: Dec 19, 2019
Fowl Play Roadside Chicken at 3850 El Camino Real in Palo Alto has been dark for several weeks, with a sign on the front door stating the fast-causal restaurant is "closed for maintenance."

Owner Andrea Leslie did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The restaurant's website is no longer active.

Fowl Play Roadside Chicken, located in Palo Alto's Barron Park neighborhood, appears to have closed. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Leslie opened Fowl Play last summer after a franchise of a national chain she was supposed to open, The Chickery, fell through. She decided to move forward with her own chicken-centric restaurant. Fowl Play specialized in buttermilk-fried and rotisserie-roasted chicken.

A tangerine and sage roasted chicken with sides of mac and cheese and mashed potatoes and gravy at Fowl Play Roadside Chicken. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

This post will be updated if more information becomes available.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Dec 19, 2019 at 9:49 am

From the moment I heard about this place I was thinking it is not well thought out.
Fowl Play Roadside Chicken ... a lot of negative subliminals in that name.
Fowl Play ... foul play
Roadside Chicken ... road kill

We went to the point of driving into the parking lot, but we could not bring ourselves to go in. Something not right about this place that the business must overcome. They should have a open house or a free giveaway or something.

Has anyone gone to this place, and what do you think?

Posted by Writing on the wall, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Dec 19, 2019 at 11:39 am

Writing on the wall is a registered user.

You could sense that this place wasn't going to make it. The food was pretty good but it took forever to get served and there was no one there at lunchtime. Kind of a weird vibe too.

Posted by resi, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Dec 19, 2019 at 12:06 pm

Closing for "maintenance" is a scheme delinquent/holdover tenants use to prevent a landlord from entering the premises to change locks etc. (landlord "self-help").

Posted by Julian Gómez, a resident of Midtown,
on Dec 19, 2019 at 5:47 pm

Julian Gómez is a registered user.

Drat. The food was pretty good here. The menu was confusing, but could always count on a good dinner.

Posted by Fairmeadow Dad, a resident of Fairmeadow,
on Dec 20, 2019 at 12:01 pm

I tried it twice and wanted it to be a place I'd love... unfortunately, I too found the entire experience a weird vibe.

The place was always totally empty when I went and it seemed like the food had been sitting for possibly hours waiting for someone to order it (me!) such that when I took home a roasted chicken it was dry and meh.

The sandwiches I tried were okay but didn't taste as good as they sounded on the menu (ie: Hot Mess).

The sides were just not good at all. My wife took one bite of the Mexican grilled corn and threw it away.

Posted by Sad, a resident of Barron Park,
on Dec 20, 2019 at 9:26 pm

I really really really wanted to have a rotisserie chicken place near my house ... I was so happy when this opened ... I regret i didn't go there often enough to keep them in business ...
I think the food was pretty good considering there is no other chicken place nearby. I miss the chicken from Boston Market.

Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Dec 22, 2019 at 1:35 am

You don't paint a fast food joint white ... you paint it red and yellow, even green - some living color.
Calling your business fowl/foul is not only a bad pun, but as we can see it gives the place a weird vibe as several have said. Calling it roadside chicken ... ugh, it just seems cheap at best and road kill at worst. It looks like an oil change place. The dark doors and windows don't help either, nor the fact that there is nothing alive, no plants or trees on the lot. Make it more inviting if it is not already too late.

Posted by Tjmmz9843, a resident of Midtown,
on Jan 8, 2020 at 4:08 pm

The food here was good, my sandwiches were always done fresh to order, and Andrea was friendly. Too bad this place didn't catch on.

Posted by Nancy, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jan 17, 2020 at 5:07 pm

I loved that place and wanted it to well. Andrea was always so nice. The wings were the best I'd had anywhere and there sandwiches were terrific. But that is a hard spot to draw people to, similar to what happened to Khoury's market. Although she had a lot less foot traffic. If she had opened after the planned development across the street happened it might have been a different deal.

Posted by David, a resident of Barron Park,
on Mar 10, 2020 at 1:13 am

Former employee. The restaurant is closed for good. Andrea was a very cool person but had terrible business sense and its honesly a wonder how we stayed open making less than 600 a night

Posted by MRM22, a resident of Downtown North,
on Mar 14, 2020 at 5:49 pm

Loved this place. Hot Mess was delicious and food made fresh like Chick filet. Loved the sauces as well. Just not in a good location. I am certain if it was closer to campus it would have survived. Please let me know if you relocate

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