Michelle Wilson knows from chicken and waffles. While she didn’t found the original Roscoe’s in LA, (as erroneously mentioned in the Chron’s fried chicken roundup Sunday), Wilson did help start the three inceptions that graced Oakland during the 90s. She’s been out of the restaurant business since 2000, catering and doing internet television, but with her new project Gussie’s Chicken and Waffle’s tentatively set to open July 6 in the old Powell’s space on Eddy Street, Wilson said she’s excited about her return to the industry. “I absolutely loved the restaurant business, and have missed it tremendously,” Wilson told us today. “I started a corporation so I can open up this restaurant and maybe others if I’m blessed in the future.”
Gussie’s sports a design by AXIS Architecture and a menu of Wilson’s take on Roscoe’s-style soul, including fried chicken livers, sweet potato waffles, and a fried catfish breakfast. Here’s a working draft of the menu [MS Word]. Originally shooting for a March opening, Wilson pushed the project back when she decided to redesign the storefront. “In doing that, it took an extra two months just in design and contractor bids,” she said. The renovations are done now, the awning is in, and just a few windows and doors remain to be installed before construction can be called complete.
Wilson has her share of hard-earned experience through her Roscoe’s openings. “That was a true learning experience. We had no idea what we were doing. I was fresh out of college on my way to law school when we decided to do that… I hope everything we learned doing that will help me put out a great product with good service at Gussie’s.”