Thinking outside the box DCP style
As soon as you step into NYC’s Double Chicken Please, the world of drinks as you know it is turned upside down. You’re entering a new world.
It is an experience like no other, a spectacle of sorts, where you get to witness the agility of the team, walking this metaphorical tightrope, finding the delicate balance between the familiar and the novel.
Voted #1 Best Bar in North America and #6 in the World’s 50 Best Bars, Double Chicken Please isn’t just a place to enjoy a drink. Combining industrial design, flavor deconstruction and, honestly, poetic magic, GN Chan and Faye Chen have been revolutionizing the bar scene.
But how did they meet? How did Double Chicken Please start? What is their goal? And what does Uncategorized mean to them?
We were privileged to hang out with GN and Faye during our Uncategorized night at the infamous Lyaness and hear more about their story, inspiration, and what’s in store for the coop. And of course, we got it all on camera on our YouTube channel for you to enjoy.
“I think being Uncategorized is for you to be able to think outside the box.”
And they sure think outside the box.
From industrial designer and street magician in Taiwan to acclaimed barman and business owner in NYC, it feels like GN has already lived many lives, each of them being reflected in the DNA of Double Chicken Please.
“We’re trying to think outside the box, we’re trying to not just follow the rules, the system”, explains Faye.
“We are almost like free-form, mixing drinks and creating a concept”
Their creative process comes in many waves. GN describes the teamwork that goes with creating each cocktail: “We constantly brainstorm together and think ‘What's the idea?’, and how can we make it relatable for the people who actually enjoy it. They will remember the experience no matter if it is the flavor, the concept, the look, or the experience around it. So how can we make it more memorable?”
Some libations might be inspired by names, or concepts like the drinks they created for us in London, ‘Brain Fart’ and ‘Little Fucking Brain’. From the initial idea, they then dissect the concept, creatively bringing their story to life. Brains take the shape of walnuts and pecan. The flavor combinations are unexpected and yet perfect.
Who would have thought that Soka, curry, pumpkin, and coffee would be a match made in heaven? Well, they did, resulting in the super delicious ‘Brain Fart’.
And let’s not forget the milky and soft “Little Fucking Brain” combining Symphony 6, banana, tana, walnut, and Riesling. A banger.
Obviously, we have videos to make you salivate.
*EMBED VIDEOS "LITTLE FUCKING BRAIN" AND "BRAIN FART"
“Like a hacker, you deconstruct and rebuild anything”
GN’s formal education as an industrial designer is at the heart of the team’s creative process and how Double Chicken Please came out to be.
“Double Chicken Please was supposed to be a design studio after I graduated from college. But that never happened because, by chance, I became a bartender and moved from Taiwan to New York. Seven years ago, when I started thinking about opening this bar, I still wanted to treat it as a design studio. So I brought the name back Double Chicken Please. You can see the place as a design studio, but we started with food and beverage”, GN explains.
Through a ‘Hacking Design’ approach, the team blurs the lines of what we know - let’s say a key lime pie - to turn into something brilliantly new. They break boundaries, and color outside the lines. A bit like reverse alchemists, they turn our favorite indulging bites like Japanese Cold Noodles, or Cold Pizza into liquid delicacies. They deconstruct, examine, redefine and rebuild. Didn’t we just say that GN was a magician?
*EMBED UNCATEGORIZED VIDEO*
More than a bar
With a great bar comes great responsibility. Faye and GN understood this even before they opened Double Chicken Please in 2020.
As Faye puts it: “We both are immigrants and we moved to New York a few years ago. And then New York is a very different space and it has its own culture. There may be something different, something more that we can do to build a new culture, that's a really good one for the industry in New York, and also, a way to give back to our second generation and third generation and more like education, offer them a different way of thinking of l working in New York, working in the bar industry or restaurant industry”.
You’re only as strong as your team and taking care of the staff has always been the priority. Faye continues: “We could definitely be chasing after the numbers. But if you don't have a very good team that holds a good culture together, how much more can you make? You know, so that's the culture that we're wanting to create”.
*EMBED BEING AN OUTSIDER VIDEO*
We are always in awe of being able to be a part of these super-talented bartenders and owners around the world's visions, creating friendships and mutual respect to keep on pushing the boundaries.
More than ever, we are proud to be part of the coop!