Fan’s Cocky Rooster owner feeling confident about Short Pump expansion

Owner Brett Diehl at The Cocky Rooster’s Fan location prior to its opening last year. (BizSense file)

A local chicken joint is betting that Short Pump’s feeling peckish.

The Cocky Rooster, which opened its first location in the Fan last summer, is opening a second spot in GreenGate at 12121 W. Broad St., west of Short Pump Town Center.

Owner Brett Diehl said a second location has long been part of his plan since opening the chicken wing- and sandwich-focused restaurant’s first location at 2523 W. Main St. next to 3 Monkeys Bar & Grill.

“I’d be lying if I said we began without hoping to have the opportunity to expand,” Diehl said.

“Right out of the gate we were looking for additional spots and hoping to find something that spoke to us. We know that the expansion in the West End is moving west out towards (State Route) 288, so (GreenGate) was a logical choice.”

The restaurant will open in a space in GreenGate which had not been leased to anyone prior. (Mike Platania photo)

GreenGate is a multi-phase development from Markel Eagle that includes townhomes, retail/restaurant space and offices. The project has landed multiple restaurants, including two each from locally-based Richmond Restaurant Group and EAT Restaurant Partners.

The Cocky Rooster is leasing about 1,500 square feet in the same building that houses Mellow Mushroom and CBD shop Kultivate Wellness. Despite being roughly twice the size of its Fan location, Diehl said The Cocky Rooster’s Short Pump location will maintain its takeout-focused approach.

“At the end of the day we’re always going to be, ‘Take Your Wings and Fly,’” Diehl said, referencing the restaurant’s slogan which he said they’ve trademarked. “We will have some space for seats but we’re calling it courtesy seating more than dine-in space.”

Diehl said he’s aiming to open in Short Pump by the end of the year.

In the meantime he’s been dealing with increased demand for chicken wings due to football season, something made more difficult to handle due to rising ingredient costs.

Chicken wing shortages led Diehl and The Cocky Rooster to offer fried chicken sandwiches. (Courtesy of Cocky Rooster/Facebook)

“There’s definitely a commodity squeeze that happened specifically in the chicken market throughout COVID. The price on wings has gone up 150 percent since we opened,” Diehl said.

The scarcity of wings pushed The Cocky Rooster to expand its menu, and Diehl said he’s glad he did it.

“When we opened we were literally just wings, fries and sauces. (The increased cost of wings) caused us to evolve and make what I’d consider one of the best chicken sandwiches in the city,” Diehl said.

Thalhimer’s Nicki Jassy represented The Cocky Rooster in lease negotiations. Colliers International’s Peter Vick and Harrison Hall handle leasing for GreenGate’s retail space. Eagle Construction is handling the buildout of the restaurant’s new space, which Michael Pellis Architecture is designing.


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Matt Merica
Matt Merica
4 months ago

Awesome news, the food selection in Short Pump is pretty thin in reality, this will be a nice addition. When you take out the chain restaurants, the selection is disappointing.

Eric Vaughan
Eric Vaughan
4 months ago
Reply to  Matt Merica

It’s expensive out there. Applebee’s, Bar Louie, Chilli’s, Kona Grill, Matchbox, TGIFriday’s are chains that are gone from SP. I’m sure I missed some.

Jessica Cain
Jessica Cain
4 months ago

We love the Cocky Rooster and can’t wait for the new location. The chicken sandwich is unbelievable!