SYCAMORE – Cooking up good chicken, ribs and seafood runs in Cordel Dietzig’s family.
He grew up working at his parents’ restaurant, Chicken Manor, which has been in business in Addison since 1962. Today, he and his family own their own restaurant, the Chick’n Shack, in Sycamore that uses the same time-tested recipes handed down through the family.
Dietzig and his wife, Veronica Dietzig, own the restaurant with Mike Davis. The Dietzigs’ daughter, Caitlynne, 8, lends a hand. They opened in a plaza on West Peace Road in Sycamore on June 12 and were expecting it to be a soft opening day, but it was the opposite.
“The first day we were swamped,” Veronica Dietzig said. “There were more people than we thought there would be.”
Cordel Dietzig, who lives with his family in Lily Lake, owned a landscape business before deciding to jump back into the restaurant business.
“I couldn’t find any good place for carry-out,” he said, which is partly what inspired him to open his own restaurant. “Once you do it, it’s kind of like a passion. It’s in your blood.”
Although the name of the restaurant centers around chicken, the Dietzigs also pride themselves in their baby back ribs smothered in homemade barbecue sauce. Seafood such as shrimp, stuffed shrimp, scallops, cod and perch also is on the menu.
Sides include the shack’s signature broasted potato wedges and coleslaw that’s made fresh daily. Baked beans, corn on the cob, dinner rolls and french fries also can come on the side. Appetizers offered are loaded broasted potatoes complete with bacon bits, cheese and chives, mushrooms, zucchini and cheese sticks. The restaurant also offers a child’s menu.
The restaurant’s recipes have been in the family for 40 years. Cordel Dietzig said he still uses the same homemade marinade and flour-breading recipes his parents use. But their chicken is made a little differently than other places might prepare their chicken.
“I think our chicken’s healthy,” Veronica Dietzig said.
The chicken is pressure-cooked, which reduces the amount of oil that’s absorbed into the food, Cordel Dietzig explained. They also use cholesterol-free oil. Customers can choose whether they want white meat or dark meat when they order chicken dinners or family meals.
Veronica Dietzig said the portion sizes don’t leave anyone feeling hungry.
The Chick’n Shack also offers a range of party packs and catering options with all of their specialties, which can feed between 25 and 50 people. Items also are sold a la carte for larger groups.
Meals can be eaten in the dining space at the Chick’n Shack, which seats 40 people. They also can be carried out or delivered to surrounding areas, including DeKalb, Genoa and Cortland.
The restaurant is open from 3:30 to 9 p.m. almost every day, with slightly different hours Sunday. It is closed Mondays. Cordel Dietzig said they’ll likely adjust their hours as they go, and they’re still adjusting the menu.
“The menu’s evolving,” he said. “It’ll evolve until the day we close.”
An official ribbon-cutting is scheduled for 2 p.m. July 17.