By the end of May, co-owners Marco Rabello and Cristian Maciel plan to open Chicken Please! The restaurant concept is located two doors away from their Taste of Brazil restaurant and bar in the City Market; Rabello and Maciel also own and operate the popular Taste of Brazil food truck.
When the nearby City Market spot became available, Rabello and Maciel struck a deal after a year of negotiations to secure the location. The space was formerly occupied by Farm to Table Kitchen, City Market’s commissary kitchen. Rabello and Maciel used the space in the past as an additional production kitchen.
“We were renting space at Farm to Table to cater for private events in front of Taste of Brazil and the enclosed garages in the City Market,” Rabello says. “We were drawing up to 200 people.”
Maciel conceived of the idea for Chicken Please! one year ago as a quick-service venue that offered inexpensive and healthy chicken dishes. The carry-out venue has limited indoor seating and more outdoor seating in front.
“We want to do something high quality,” Rabello says. “Thousands of people come to the City Market each weekend. We want to prepare chicken that can be served in a cone or basket so you can carry it, go and shop.”
All menu items will be prepared using fresh chicken. “My kids won’t eat dishes made with frozen chicken. You can really taste the difference,” Rabello says.
Rabello and Maciel first learned to cook from their mothers, Odete and Cleusa, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, who also served as consultants on Taste of Brazil’s menu. Once again, they called their mothers for advice on dishes that went beyond the menu of their original concept. Look for versions of their mothers’ chicken pot pie and chicken stroganoff. Other dishes include chicken and waffles, chicken tenders, meatballs, nuggets, wings, nachos and a signature sandwich with deep-fried chicken breast served with vanilla ice cream and drizzled honey on a sweet bun.
Taste of Brazil debuted six years ago, serving Kansas City’s Brazilian population and City Market crowds. The restaurant's seasonal stand, where they serve freshly-opened green coconuts for sipping juice, is popular in spring and summer. Taste of Brazil will also introduce tropical juices and cane sugar drinks this summer The restaurateurs expanded the brand by adding a food truck three years ago and accumulating catering clients. While Rabello manages restaurant operations and catering, Maciel leads food truck operations and sales.
“Two weeks after opening the food truck, events coordinators started calling us,” Rabello says. “Cristian does a great job of calling and booking catering clients. We’ve booked 14 weddings and many private events.”
The addition of Chicken Please! expands the ability of Rabello and Maciel to serve a diverse array of traditional Brazilian foods and other creations to guests. The new venue will have a fresh, airy feel with a turquoise color palette.
“So many people live down here now. Our goal is to increase weekday evening sales and bring in more locals from the River Market,” Raello says.
Chicken Please!, 21 E. Third St., City Market, Kansas City, Missouri