A casual and fast-paced hot chicken chain from Nashville arrives in Charlotte

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Photos: Courtesy of Dave’s Hot Chicken

based in Los Angeles Dave’s Hot Chicken plans to open 12 locations in Charlotte over the next five years.

The big picture: From its beginnings as a popular street food pop-up in a California parking lot, Dave’s Hot Chicken has now hit markets across North America, including Dallas, Denver, Toronto and, soon, here in Charlotte.

  • The only place the Nashville-style fast casual restaurant isn’t? Nashville. “Mnch at your own risk”, our Axios Nashville his colleague Adam Tamburin jokes.

Background: Local owners Nick and Nicole Smith have been addicted to Dave’s Hot Chicken since they tried it in Dallas earlier this year. “It’s addicting,” Nick tells me. “We were completely blown away. “

  • The husband and wife duo are made up of experienced restaurateurs in Charlotte, owning and operating 12 (up to 14) Jersey Mike’s over the past 25 years.

[Related Axios guide: Zara, Wegmans, Wawa and 9 other retailers Charlotte wants]

Pitches: The Smiths are targeting South End for a location, but have yet to secure a lease. Other areas they plan to open include Ballantyne, South Charlotte, University, and Plaza Midwood.

  • Spaces will feel hip, says Nicole. “You’ll want to be there.
  • They are looking for restaurants of around 2,000 to 2,500 square feet.

hot chicken daves

Menu: The key to ordering from Dave is selecting the right level of spice – from extremely spicy Reaper flavor to no spice at all (why would you do that, though?).

  • There are three combined options to choose from: offers, sliders, or a mix of the two. The whole is accompanied by fries cut into pancakes.
  • Accompaniments include mac and cheese, kale salad, and cheese fries.
  • Dave’s also sells chocolate, strawberry and vanilla milkshakes.
  • The full menu is included below.

Zoom out: Charlotte is undeniably lacking in Nashville-style hot chicken concepts – despite our relatively close proximity to Music City – so it’s interesting to see how far this California chain is entering the market.

[Related Axios guide: Top 10 fried chicken spots in Charlotte]

Here’s a look at what to expect:

hot chicken daves

hot chicken daves

hot chicken daves

hot chicken daves

hot chicken daves menu

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