This chicken rocks, y’all!
Eater editors just named Rokstar Chicken – a Korean fried chicken quick-service, takeout and delivery spot in Douglaston – among the 15 hottest new restaurants in Queens.
Owner Mark Lee — who noted that the “Rok” in Rokstar stands for Republic of Korea (R.O.K.) — bravely forged ahead and launched his new business in December 2021, amid the ongoing pandemic, because he knew that folks in Queens couldn’t get enough of that “down-home” Korean comfort food.
“It’s a New York brand with Korean roots,” Lee said. “Our goal is to globalize Korean fried chicken, and continue to introduce and share our culture with the world through the best way possible: food. And what better food than fried chicken?”
Lee told Eater the main focus of the restaurant is high-quality food.
“It’ll make you feel like a rockstar,” he said.
You can find Rokstar Chicken, conveniently located inside local supermarket Food Bazaar, at 242-02 61st Ave. near Douglaston Parkway.
If you stop by and pick up some fried chicken, you can pair it with your choice of unique sauces, like sweet chili, soy garlic barbecue and spicy ranch. Chicken lovers can get a whole chicken, boneless chicken, tenders or wings, as well as a chicken sandwich and other sides.
According to Lee, their grand opening weekend was “amazing.”
“We sold out of our chicken every day during that weekend. It was really good to have all the locals try our chicken and be excited about it,” he said.
A longtime Queens boy who was raised in Flushing and now resides in Bayside, Lee immigrated to the U.S. from South Korea.
“Growing up there, my favorite sport was baseball, and the team to watch was Haitai Tigers, representing my hometown, Kwang Ju. They were champions year after year,” Lee said. “When I was 10, I remember going to watch one of their playoff games. The energy was insane, kinda like New Yorkers whenever the Knicks win. But apart from the cheers and smiles, I noticed what seemed like every single person in that stadium had by their side: fried chicken — of course, with a beer.”
Korean fried chicken has been around since the 1970s and since then has been a staple in Korean culture and lifestyle. Enjoyed as a meal, snack or anju (food served with drinks), it has become a comfort food for many people.
So, why are critics calling Rokstar Chicken one of the hottest restaurants in Queens?
“We are bringing Korean flavors with New York attitude! Our chickens are made fresh to order, so it’s juicy, tender, light and very crispy,” Lee said. “We source all our ingredients and work with one of the best manufacturers from Korea.”
Lee and his team have many years of experience in the restaurant industry. He also owns a sweets shop called Spot Dessert Bar in Flushing and the East Village, which he has operated for over 11 years. One reviewer described it as “fun and ultra-Instagrammable.”
Rokstar Chicken is open Monday through Sunday, from noon to 9 p.m. Prices range from $8 to $35 for a full size box.
“What’s my ultimate goal? Think Shake Shack but Korean fried chicken,” Lee said. “Let’s ROK the world together!”