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There’s a new bird in town

FOWL PLAY: From left, Roasty Chicken owners Dean Drumonde and Darlene Paolucci celebrate their grand opening with Regional Councillor Joyce Frustaglio, Dean's daughter Renee and, of course, a chicken. (Philip Alves/Vaughan Today)

The colonel’s chicken this ain’t.

But it does have people lickin’ their fingers and coming back for more.

Roasty Chicken Churrasqueira celebrated its grand opening in Maple this month, though the eatery’s Portuguese-style rotisserie birds have been flying out its open doors for a couple of months.

Since opening, owners Dean Drumonde and Darlene Paolucci have been busy serving their fine fowl and getting to know now-familiar faces, they say, and they like it that way.

“So far we’ve seen so many return customers,” Paolucci said. “That’s one of the best compliments you can get, when you see somebody come back or you see somebody come in and say to you, ‘My sister was here last week and told me to come and try your chicken and it’s amazing,’ or, ‘It’s really great’.”

What makes their chicken great, Drumonde says, is how they make their chicken. The birds are cooked simultaneously from the inside out and outside in to an internal temperature that’s higher than current health standards, he said.

“We have no processed foods here, no added trans fats,” Drumonde said. “We just partnered up with Lilydale. We use a bigger, a more plump, healthier bird.

“Everything is fresh here.”

Though Drumonde lives in Etobicoke, he said he and Paolucci chose to make 9781 Jane St. Roasty Chicken’s home because it was the “perfect spot” with oft-visited neighbours like the Beer Store, LCBO and Rogers.

Paolucci, herself a Vaughanian, agreed.

“We know it’s a growing area with all the new housing, the new construction in the area,” she said. “It felt like a good fit for our business.”

Given the city’s growth, it turns out it’s more than just folks of Portuguese background hankering for a taste of home discovering Roasty Chicken, Drumonde said.

“We have a lot of Italians, Latinos and Portuguese,” he said. “Vaughan is such a multicultural city and it’s diversified with so many different communities that everybody’s coming.”

But Drumonde and Paolucci aren’t content with just having people come to them: they’re already looking at expansion across the GTA.

“We’re planning to open up 12 stores in the next two years,” Drumonde said. “We should have another two stores open by the end of this year, one in Milton and one in Markham.

Vaughan Today
In print: September 19, 2008, page 8
Online: September 20, 2008 [link]