As ghost kitchens began to take off last year, friends Shawn Edwards, Frederick Huballa and Marques Johnson took advantage of an underused kitchen to create CHX as a takeout-only business. Customers would line up for scratch-made chicken tenders and biscuits from a window on the side of the Pourhouse nightclub in Uptown Minneapolis.
But a transition to its own brick-and-mortar location didn't pay off, according to a statement from investors. After only 90 days with a storefront on a prime Uptown corner, CHX closed Monday.
The founders, who go by the Gumbo Group, disagree with the statement's characterization of CHX as "not trending to be profitable." A late August news release touted the fast-casual restaurant's early success and announced an expansion of the menu, extended hours and catering.
Though bruised by the abrupt closing, the original trio says it's not the end of the road for CHX's hand-breaded tenders, crinkly fries and ultra-flaky biscuits.
"When you see something that you've worked hard on to bring to the community, and you know you put a lot of time and effort and money into it and you partner with somebody and trust that the partnership is in good hands, it's just disheartening," Edwards said. "But at the same time, we still feel like we're on the up and up and we're not ready to give up. The Twin Cities loves CHX and we definitely want to make a staple in the community."
A call to an attorney representing investor interests was not returned.
CHX had been sharing a space — a former D'Amico & Sons — with an unaffiliated restaurant, Pizza Shark. Now, the fast-casual wood-fired pizza business will take over the whole space for dine-in 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and carry-out and delivery 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily at 2210 Hennepin Av. S.
As for CHX's future, Edwards doesn't have a timeline on a new location, but "we're still here. The Gumbo Group is still here. We're glad that CHX left this footprint, and we want to see it continue to grow."