Craftbird, a new fast-casual chicken restaurant, opens in Newington

Published on Tuesday, 21 September 2021 17:41
Written by Erica Drzewiecki


NEWINGTON - There’s a new chick in town.

The hugely-popular Craftbird Food Truck has added a brick-and-mortar restaurant to its lineup.

Craftbird Sandos and Tenders officially opened at 1044 Main St., where Wings Over Newington used to be located.

“We thought we could do very well in Newington,” Craftbird founder Eric Stagl told the Herald Tuesday. “We’ve definitely been very busy so far. We haven’t opened for lunch during the week yet, but it’s in the works. Hopefully in the next few weeks we’ll get to doing that.”

So what separates Craftbird chicken sandwiches from others out there?

“We’re not a Nashville hot chicken, which a lot of concept sandwich restaurants are these days,” Stagl said. “We use a chicken thigh for our sandwich instead of a breast and we have a very unique marinade and seasoned flour.”

Craftbird sandwiches are known as “Sandos” and can be made gluten-free. The restaurant uses a separate fryer for its gluten-free chicken and rice flour buns are stored separately. Among the six sandwich options are the Hot-Bird, dressed with hot sauce, ranch and shredded lettuce, and the BBQ Bird, with American cheese, caramelized and fried onions, BBQ sauce and BBQ aioli. There’s also tenders and wings. Extras include street corn salad, truffled mac and cheese bites, crispy brussel sprouts and hand-cut potato wedges.

The first Craftbird food truck got on the road in 2016 and a second truck was added in 2019. The trucks are still out there and location updates are regularly posted to Craftbird’s Facebook pages.

Before he got into the chicken business, Stagl was the executive chef at Barcelona West Hartford. He also worked for the Max Restaurant Group.

When asked about The Rooster Company, an American restaurant located a few doors down, Stagl said he knows the owners from the food service circuit and doesn’t consider his neighbor as competition.

“The only thing that’s similar is that we both serve chicken,” he said. “They’re very different. We’re a fast-casual, quick service restaurant and they’re sit-down and dine-in.”

Special on weekends this fall are Craftbird’s Football Boxes. One box contains enough food for five people, including 30 wings or 15 tenders, 15 truffle mac bites and 1 pint buffalo chicken dip with chips.

Takeout, order ahead or eat-in, there are a few tables. Delivery is available on the GrubHub app or on Craftbird’s website via DoorDash.

Hours are Tues.-Fri. 4-9 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at

Posted in The Bristol Press, General News on Tuesday, 21 September 2021 17:41. Updated: Tuesday, 21 September 2021 17:43.