Courtesy Heather Doeberling
Fried chicken wings are the specialty of the house at Boss ChicknBeer.
Heather Doeberling and Emily Moes made such a splash with their popular food truck Boca Loca that they opened a Berea-based brick-and-mortar operation of the same name a couple years later. They parlayed those early successes into Boss ChicknBeer
(120 Front St., 440-532-7660), which they opened in 2018, also in Berea.
Recently, they sold both Boca Loca ventures to focus on Boss, a brand bound for bigger things. First up: a second shop in Bay Village.
“Boss has done really, really well and after probably the first six months we started planning for Bay Village,” Doeberling says. “We didn’t even look around.”
Boss struck a chord with diners thanks to a hyper-focused menu that zeroes in on – wait for it – chicken and beer. But also because of the seamless nature in which the business fits into the neighborhood around it, adds Doeberling.
“Berea is a really tight-knit community that generations grow up in,” she explains. “I tell people that Boss is a diner where you don’t bring your own friends; you meet friends when you come here. The community part of it has always been really important and that’s why we decided right away that Bay Village would be the place for number two because Bay Village is such a community.”
Bay is a project three years in the making. The partners signed in 2019, expected to open in 2020, but in reality will open in April of this year. At 1,000 square feet, the new location (27321 Wolf Rd.) is a third smaller than the original, but that didn’t concern the owners.
“There are not a lot of options to put a restaurant in Bay Village, so we kind of had to change our model just a little bit; we had to shrink it down and get more creative,” says Doeberling. “If there’s anything that 2020 taught us it’s that you can get creative with your space. So many people were sitting on space that they couldn’t use.”
The menu, however, will be the same as that in Berea, including the increasingly popular vegan items. In fact, the vegan menu actually expanded as a result of the pandemic, Doeberling reports.
“During the pandemic, with all the supply chain problems, we were going to start really having trouble getting wings,” she says. “But the supply chain with our produce company was the opposite; our produce company was having to give away or throw away a lot of produce because it was going bad because so many restaurants weren’t buying anymore. We decided to try to contribute by expanding our vegan menu and making it its own menu. And it works.”
Considering that Doeberling and Moes are planners, it’s not surprising in the least to learn that location number three already is in the works. The women are beefing up the squad in anticipation.
“We’re growing our team in a super-strong way,” she says. “Seven Hills, we’re coming!”