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Get your donuts and fried chicken in Pennsport, while you can

Federal Donuts opened last week to a frenzied following in the Pennsport neighborhood of South Philadelphia. It's an eclectic restaurant that specializes in donuts, fried chicken, and coffee. That is, if you can get in early enough to get your hands on their food and drink.

The opening week was an important lesson in just how hungry Pennsport denizens, Philadelphians, and even suburbanites are for fried chicken and donuts. Astonishingly, Federal Donuts ran out of chicken by 12:55 p.m. every day during their first week, even though they originally planned to be open until 8 p.m. each day. The donuts also proved ultra popular, as both the hot sugared and filled donuts sold out before noon most days last week.

The new restaurant generally sells the hot sugared donuts between 7 and 10 a.m. Monday through Sunday, if they don't run out. Flavors include Indian cinnamon and vanilla-lavender. They sell the filled, or "fancy," donuts all day, until they run out. These flavors are comprised of key lime, nutella-pomegranate, and chocolate-raspberry, to name a few. They start selling fried chicken around noon, which includes Korean-style glazed chicken and crispy chicken. The chicken is prepared by renowned chef Michael Solomonov.

According to Bob Logue, one of the owners of Federal Donuts and Bodhi Coffee, the restaurant fills a void in Pennsport and the city. "The neighborhood was dying for something great," explains Logue. He adds that an establishment combining donuts, fried chicken, and coffee in the city was "elusive" before his shop opened. Logue justifies the crazed popularity of Federal during its first week by saying that it appeals to long-time Pennsport residents, yuppies, and people all across the city and even suburbs.

So far, it seems like things have calmed down to some degree this week. On Monday, fried chicken was still being offered until 1 p.m., which gave famished customers a little more time. Also, donuts lasted a little longer on Monday. "We're still selling out, but at a nicer pace," says a less frenetic Logue. Absent were the long lines of the previous week, although a steady stream of new and returning customers enlivened the shop.

Given the enormous success of Federal Donuts so far, Logue has dreams of expanding. "Federal Donuts is dedicated to the growth of a new industry in Philadelphia," he asserts. Logue says he would like to expand, although it will take some time. He's especially hopeful to add some fryers, since that's currently the biggest limitation to making more donuts and chicken. The fact that talk of expansion has come up so quickly is a great sign for the shop. In just a week, Federal Donuts has become a hit in Pennsport and Philadelphia.        

Source: Bob Logue
Writer: Andy Sharpe

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