New Food Hub in Sherman Oaks

Most of us have been waiting to see what pops up in the plaza on Van Nuys Boulevard that used to house the longtime deli Solley’s. Now we have a glimpse. The retooled L-shaped strip has reemerged as the Sherman Oaks Collection—a mix of restaurants and shops that will start to roll out this summer. […]

Most of us have been waiting to see what pops up in the plaza on Van Nuys Boulevard that used to house the longtime deli Solley’s. Now we have a glimpse. The retooled L-shaped strip has reemerged as the Sherman Oaks Collection—a mix of restaurants and shops that will start to roll out this summer.

Wild & Free—a fast-casual chicken concept from Plan Check’s Terry Heller, who also owns Plan Check Kitchen + Bar—and Afters Ice Cream—the Instagram-friendly donut ice cream sandwich shop—are my two most eagerly anticipated tenants.

Wild & Free is expected to open by the end of August along Van Nuys Boulevard. Some of the menu items incorporate premium Mary’s free-range chicken. Terry says, “Rotisserie chicken was always presented in a very straightforward way … just a basic seasoning. I wanted to add more of a chef-driven approach to the flavor profiles.”

Their signature “wild style” chicken was inspired by roadside chicken stands found in Sinaloa, Mexico. According to Terry, “We made it and it was really intense, but I loved the flavor. It had dimension to it; it wasn’t just spicy.” This will be their signature. You’ll also find savory and smoky chickens plus sandwiches, salads and seasonal sides.

Afters Ice Cream, the popular chain that started in Fountain Valley, specializes in milky buns. Glazed (or unglazed) donuts are stuffed with your choice of ice cream and pressed, so you get a hot coat and cool, flavorful core. Co-founder Andy Nguyen hopes for a September or October opening and anticipates some “unique, one-off collaborations at this specific location.”

Burger Lounge, Luna Grill (fast-casual Mediterranean concept) and Starbucks are other tenants in the plaza.

4550 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks

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