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Our Story

No disrespect

For far too long, fast casual restaurants have disrespected the chicken and the egg from farm to table.


In November 2015, the team from San Diego’s most acclaimed restaurant, Juniper & Ivy, inspired the culinary scene by introducing The Crack Shack in Little Italy. The goal was to bring the quality ingredients and high-end culinary focus of J&I to a fine-casual, outdoor setting open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Receiving national recognition during its first year of operations, The Crack Shack has expanded to Encinitas and will open soon in Costa Mesa, fulfilling its mission to bring the best, locally available ingredients to awesome open-air venues. The Crack Shack has redefined the concept of family friendly dining. The bocce ball court, full bar, and menu lend themselves to a setting where all ages and backgrounds want to spend time.

The Crack Shack highlights a full bar program with craft cocktails, a thoughtfully chosen wine list, and curated local craft brews on tap. We believe in sourcing happy, pastured chickens fed all natural grain. We source Jidori Chicken from Southern California— our chicken comes to us fresh, never frozen. While many people talk the talk, using terms that are vague (like “natural”) or deceiving (like “cage-free”), we walk the walk by only using humanely raised poultry from small, local farms, allowed to roam freely on pastures and eat preservative- and antibiotic-free food. Beyond the chicken and eggs, we use top quality local produce sourced from boutique farms. Our menu transforms these ingredients into high-end culinary creations from the minds of chefs Richard Blais and Jon Sloan.

See for yourself; the proof is in the poultry.

The Coop

welcome to southern california - isn’t it beautiful?

While 70s is the norm—even in the winter—people spend all day cooped up like factoryfarmed chickens inside their office buildings. People who live here, and those who visit, want to spend their precious free time outdoors enjoying the California sunshine. And why wouldn’t they? That’s why we give them the opportunity to enjoy our local, fresh ingredients and free-range quality chicken from the comfort of our outdoor, laid back coop.

show me the coop!

The Peeps

everyone and their mother...
and their grandfather...
and their little dog too.

We are thrilled to say that there is no “typical” consumer at The Crack Shack. There are couples on date night, families of all generations, friends on a night out. There are hipsters with their dogs, office coworkers on lunch break, dads with strollers, and foodies of every kind. Who doesn’t like fried chicken? But that isn’t rhetorical - we have albacore sandwiches and protein bowls. There’s something for everyone.

The Food

“there’s no reason an $11 dollar chicken sandwich can’t be treated like a $90 roast chicken.”

chef richard blais

Fried chicken is a common “guilty pleasure”of many, but most fried chicken places lack both ambiance and quality ingredients, thus leading to the “guilty” part of pleasure. We serve free-range, local fried chicken and eggs in an environment where you want to bring your friends, dates, and dogs to have a drink or play some bocce. We serve classic food with a highend twist, in a venue that is both family friendly and cutting edge.

The Team

The Crack Shack is spurred by Owner MICHAEL ROSEN’s intense love of all things chicken, and breakfast for dinner. As a chicken connoisseur, Michael firmly believes that not all chicken is created equal. He is passionate about providing the highest quality ingredients – from produce to poultry.

General Manager of Juniper & Ivy, and Director of Operations for The Crack Shack, DAN PENA leads both teams in everyday execution of the concept. General Manager of The Crack Shack, LIBBY WINTER, brings an air of fine dining to the coop, ensuring the highest service to all guests.

Our culinary team is led by Coach RICHARD BLAIS. Perhaps best known for his win on Top Chef All Stars and his hosting and guest appearances on many food shows, Richard returns to his fast casual roots — recalling the time he spent at McDonalds as a Poissonnier — preparing filet-O-fish sandwiches. Juniper and Ivy’s Executive Chef JON SLOAN sacrificed countless days of great surf waves to huddle in the kitchen driving Chefs MIKE GIL, KHINE MOORE and other team members in the development of batters, coatings, marinades and sauces.

Reach out now.

The Crack Shack if you want to write.


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