Royale Lunch Bar is on a break while it changes its menu and hours, to a high-end fried chicken shack that serves dinner. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Royale Lunch Bar, which has been on a break since last week, plans to reopen Jan. 2 as a high-end fried chicken shack, serving lunch and dinner daily.

The Union Street restaurant opened in April, serving breakfast and lunch, with a focus on sandwiches. It later added late-night weekend hours, serving fried chicken to the Old Port bar crowd, the popularity of which in part motivated the change in concept, said owner Garrett FitzGerald.

FitzGerald said customer surveys also indicated that its fried chicken sandwich was by far the most popular item. The new menu will serve the chicken as pieces with sides. Other popular items, such as mac and cheese, poutine and Caesar salad, will remain on the menu.

FitzGerald said the restaurant was “pigeon-holed” by the original concept, but regardless of the shift to serving dinner, the name will remain the same. With the change in menu and hours, along with a staffing shortage and the holidays, it made sense to close for a couple of weeks, he said.

The new hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, maybe later on the weekends, said FitzGerald, who also owns Bar Harbor Lobster Co. in Bar Harbor. For the winter at least, there will be no late-night hours, but he said he would revisit that when it warms up.

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