Oh the bittersweet of it all. Opus Co. owner Mark Schroder recently announced he’s closing his tiny, grill-focused restaurant on Phinney Ridge. However the address will live on in the hands of Paolo Campbell, Opus’s longtime lieutenant and a talented guy deserving of his own spot.
Campbell and Donnie Adams, friends since their culinary school days, will open The Chicken Supply, turning this compact space at 7410 Greenwood Avenue N into a destination for Filipino fried chicken with corresponding sides.
The duo has made some research trips to Jollibee and envisions chicken brined in soy sauce and lemon, with a crisp but delicate coating achieved with a gluten-free starch mix. Chicken Supply will sell its wares by the piece, says Campbell, so customers could load up for a party, or swing in for a wing, rice, and pickles. “This isn’t a KFC ‘buy a bucket’ type deal.”
Sides will assert Philippine influence on Southern American classics: munggo beans and rice, maybe some laing (stewed taro leaves) in place of traditional greens. The potato wedges that became a pandemic-era favorite at Opus, just because. The Chicken Supply will be counter service—a more logical setup for that small space—and a fryer will replace the wood-fire grill. “This is going to be the complete opposite vibe of what Opus was,” says Campbell. “Semi on purpose.”
If it seems odd that Opus will close after surviving the rout of a pandemic, Schroder has always circumvented the conventional path. He opened his restaurant in 2017, keeping it intentionally small in an era of flush build-outs, and combining his training under Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi with his Midwestern upbringing. This yielded a whole-animal menu equally conversant in rice cakes and lamb spam and delicate salads.
Even back then, says Schroder, he knew he didn’t want to run such a hands-on enterprise forever. “I’m not the kind of person to step away,” he says, but he wants to travel and see his parents and recalibrate. Having Campbell take over the business felt meaningful. “It’s my dream situation.”
These two and fellow sous chef Cecily Kimura comprised the kitchen staff for the past few years (Kimura and Campbell retired their excellent Brunchbox popup this past weekend). And that’s how Opus will finish out its tenure. After months of takeout, the restaurant resumed dine-in service July 22. Fans can bid the restaurant farewell with a tasting menu in the vein of the early days. The trio will cook for two seatings a night on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from now through early September. The full rundown is posted, 'zine-style, on Instagram.
“We weren’t going to open back up,” says Schroder, but ultimately that felt too sad. “I wanted to go out having people in there.”