The Budlong Southern Chicken Opens at Oakbrook Center; Unveils Brand’s Fresh Look

August 08, 2023

OAK BROOK, Ill. — The Budlong Southern Chicken (The Budlong) has left its nest in the city to satisfy the insatiable cravings suburban residents have for its irresistible menu items.

Opening recently at Chicagoland’s prestigious Oakbrook Center, the new location, which is the brand’s fourth, features a fresh look for The Budlong, including a reinvented logo and color scheme. Plus, the Oakbrook Center restaurant embraces newly introduced tech innovation that enhances ordering and operations, with an emphasis on speed and efficiency.

“The excitement and energy surrounding The Budlong’s evolution is truly palpable,” said Gregg Majewski, CEO of Craveworthy Brands, parent company to The Budlong. “We've been eager to share our brand’s new look with suburban Chicagoland residents, who have long-awaited for us to arrive outside the city. The District showcases our concept in a new light, demonstrating the flexibility of our model to flourish in any type of setting. Malls as well as non-traditional settings like arenas, college campuses and airports provide fantastic opportunities for us to extend the brand outside of our traditional-style restaurants.”

Majewski and accomplished head of culinary, Chef Becca McIntyre, along with renowned-chef and head of menu innovation Robert Kabakoff, recently re-engineered The Budlong menu, introducing upgraded recipes, better quality sauces and more value.

This grand opening on Thursday, August 10, promises to be an unforgettable celebration. The Budlong will give the first 50 guests in line on August 10 free sandwiches for a year* (*one sandwich per week for one year). Also as a way to commemorate the celebration, guests can enjoy an exclusive 50% off deal on the restaurant’s Chicken 'N' Waffles, a sweet and savory popcorn chicken option served in a waffle cone topped with powdered sugar and drizzled honey (only available the Oakbrook Center location). And, The Budlong is giving guests at the grand opening bounce-back coupons for complimentary Fries or the fan-favorite, scratch-made Banana Pudding for future visits.

The new eatery's home in the mall is in The District Food Hall, a 14,000-square-foot vibrant destination featuring an array of chef-driven, elevated dining options. Plus, proving that birds of a feather flock together, The Budlong is opening adjacent to another Craveworthy Brands emerging concept in The District, Lucky Cat Poke Company, a fresh and fast poke bowl eatery opening its first location at the same time.

The concepts join the portfolio of Craveworthy Brands concepts, including legacy brands Genghis Grill, BD’s Mongolian Grill and Flat Top Grill, as well as emerging brands making waves throughout the country Wing it On! and Krafted The Oakbrook Center location for The Budlong marks the concept’s first opening since its Craveworthy Brands acquisition.

The Budlong’s growth journey following its acquisition has been strong and effective, prioritizing menu and tech innovation to help the brand soar to new heights. The category leader among Nashville hot chicken brands has already established a widespread fan appeal since its launch in 2016, fueling the brand’s growth into the Chicago suburbs. With a sustainable business model built to thrive, The Budlong has proven to have an unlimited amount of opportunity to grow and hit more regions throughout the country, making it an ideal franchise for prospective business owners and entrepreneurs. The Oakbrook opening marks a new era for the brand, with its new prototype unveiling, including a re-engineered menu along with the utilization of new tech platforms, The Budlong brand is prepared to continue to flourish.

The Budlong Sothern Chicken is Southern-fried, through and through, offering a delectable menu including chicken sandwiches, tenders, salads, kids meals, desserts, like the homemade Banana Pudding, and more. All chicken is locally sourced, and hand-breaded, with sides and desserts made with love from scratch. To emphasize the Nashville hot chicken concept, customers have a choice of three different heat levels for their chicken to cater to all taste buds, and if spice isn’t your thing, the brand also has new sauces like Garlic Parmesan and Honey BBQ to drench your chicken in. Countless fans have noted a great experience thanks to the quick service and friendly, attentive staff. Fans also love the trendy restaurant for its unique seasoning and flavor profile, including the iconic crispy, juicy chicken and the “Comeback Sauce” that has lived up to its name, proving to keep guests coming back for more.

For more information on The Budlong Southern Chicken, visit:

About The Budlong Southern Chicken

Welcome to The Budlong Southern Chicken (The Budlong), a Nashville hot chicken Joint. Our hot fried chicken is enjoyably spicy, deliciously crispy & firmly Southern-rooted. The Budlong crew use locally sourced chicken – hand-breaded and fried-to-order from our own top-secret recipe. Each Budlong plate is served atop buttered Texas toast, with house-made Budlong pickles. The Budlong serves a variety of made-to-order (and plentiful) chicken sandwiches, available in both breast and thigh (our personal favorite, trust us), 5 hot sauces ranging from mild to berserk!!!, tenders and salads. Sides are made-from-scratch daily – including buttermilk biscuits, creamy mac ‘n’ cheese and scratch-made farm slaw. And save room for some homemade banana pudding for dessert, better than your Southern mother’s recipe (or so we get told a lot!).

About Craveworthy Brands

Craveworthy, the parent company of emerging casual and fast casual dining brands Wing It On!, The Budlong, Krafted Burger + Tap and Lucky Cat Poke Company, is dedicated to invigorating and supercharging legacy brands while nurturing and growing emerging brands. The company brings together diverse, but complementary, brands, and an accomplished leadership team. In addition to running and growing great restaurant brands, Craveworthy is active in the communities it serves and creates unique career opportunities for its team members. Bridging the distinctive individuality of its brands with a shared culture and spirit of collaboration, the company’s goal is to create truly unique and craveworthy experiences every day, every shift and at every turn. Learn more about Craveworthy and its brands at