About a month ago, DC9 co-owner Amber Bursik read a Facebook post from an acquaintance bragging about the tasty Chick-fil-A sandwich he’d just eaten. “In this day in age, are we really still going to Chick-fil-A?” she pondered. “Are chicken sandwiches that good that you can just do that?”
The fast-food chain with more than 2,000 U.S. locations has been associated with anti-gay sentiment for years. Current CEO Dan Cathy has publicly stated his belief that marriage should only exist between a man and a woman, and several Chick-fil-A restaurants have made donations to anti-gay advocacy groups. The alternating calls for boycotts and calls to “save Chick-fil-A” have been active since 2012, but ramped up again recently. In March, ThinkProgress reported that Chick-fil-A gave more than $1.8 million to a three groups with records of anti-LGBTQ discrimination in 2017.
During Pride month, Bursik wants to stick it to the chicken company by serving “Go Cluck Yourself” sandwiches. A portion of the proceeds of each $12 sandwich will go to Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders (SMYAL). The local nonprofit organization works to assist LGBTQ youth as they transition into adulthood.
“Everyone is always asking me for a side of honey mustard anyway,” Bursik says. “Fine, I’ll give the people what they want.” She jokes that fried chicken sandwiches have “become the ultimate form of protest.”
Earlier this month, Himitsu hosted a pro-choice pop-up where Chef Kevin Tien served fried chicken sandwiches from his other concept, Hot Lola’s. All proceeds went to three organizations that support reproductive rights. The pop-up followed Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signing the nation’s most stringent abortion law. It makes performing an abortion a felony, even in cases of rape and incest.
The “Go Cluck Yourself” sandwiches, which aim to taste like Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches and will feature a play on the chain’s signature dipping sauce, will be available whenever the kitchen at the nightclub is open from June 1 through June 30. (The kitchen is open until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.)
DC9, 1940 9th St. NW; (202) 483-5000; dc9.club