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Sunday, June 16, 2024
Butterbird landscape

Butterbird opens on Regent Street

Butterbird Chicken & Bar, a new fast-casual fried chicken restaurant located on Regent Street in Madison, welcomed its first customers on Jan. 18. 

The restaurant is the second business opened by Joe Papach and Shaina Robbins Papach in the Madison area and their first as business partners with Kaitlin Fischer, Butterbird’s general manager. The couple also owns an upscale supper club, The Harvey House, near the Kohl Center.

Following the continued success with Harvey House, the Papachs and Fischer aimed to branch out and experiment outside of the fine dining format.

“We knew we wanted to create something where every age group could easily be guests and join the fun,” Robbins Papach told The Daily Cardinal. “We want to give our friends and neighbors the opportunity to dine and enjoy restaurant quality food without any of the rules or roadblocks of a sit-down restaurant.”

Robbins Papach said Butterbird doesn’t require reservations or demand a relatively small party to be served, things she said foster the carefree atmosphere she hoped to establish. 

“Large groups are enthusiastically welcomed at Butterbird,” Robbins Papach said. “Now that we are open, we embrace a certain level of unpredictability — never knowing who could be walking through our front door — while delivering everyday fare extraordinarily well.”

In addition to its counter-style restaurant format, Butterbird offers a photo booth and a game room. The infectiously enthusiastic environment is designed with the intention of creating a true dining experience rather than just a meal.

“Our goal is not to ‘turn and burn’ tables,” Robbins Papach said. “The games invite our guests to stay awhile, to have that second or third cocktail and order dessert from ‘The Sweet Spot,’ our priority cashier for banana pudding sundaes, rootbeer floats and classic soft serve.”

And if you’re one to be turned away by a lengthy and complicated menu, don’t fret. Butterbird’s owners said they purposefully designed the menu to be small and ensure each item is of the utmost quality. 

Robbins Papach encouraged customers to go with their gut when it came to narrowing down Butterbird’s menu. She did, however, list two items that any new customer must try.

First up is the Butterbird Classic Fried Chicken Sandwich, topped with shredded lettuce and the restaurant’s signature super dill pickles and “dilly ranch”. For those seeking a unique twist on the standard forms of fried chicken, she suggests another item: Butterbird’s Chicken in a Biscuit.

“This cheesy, chicken flavored deep fried cornbread biscuit was inspired by hush puppies and was created specifically for the Butterbird opening by Joe [Papach],” Robbins Papach said.

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Madison holds a special place in the hearts of the three owners. Robbins Papach grew up in Madison, eventually moving back here in 2018 with Papach. Fischer attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison during her undergraduate years.

In a city as vibrant and full of spirit as Madison, the owners said it seemed fitting to open a restaurant that contributed to Madison’s culture in its own nature. 

“Modern and timeless, warm and lighthearted, we hope Butterbird is not just somewhere you’ll want to eat — it’s a place you’ll want to be for games, celebrations, weekday dinner, date nights and family outings,” Robbins Papach said.

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