Hot Chicken Takeover

Hot Chicken Takeover: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Interviewee: Joe DeLoss, Owner/Head Fryer
Location: 1117 Oak Street, Columbus, Ohio 43205 (A pop-up location, so check their Facebook before you go!)
Tip: Hours are limited. 12pm-5pm on weekends only. Make a trip today or wait until next weekend!
 

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Joe DeLoss, Owner/Head Fryer


 
Q | What is the best-selling item on your menu?
A | Hot chicken! We’re currently selling upwards of 600 meals a weekend (Saturday and Sunday). Most customers stick to the standard ‘Hot’ heat level, but 5% or so go for the ‘Holy’ heat (3x the ‘Hot’) and another 10% or so keep it safe with our ‘Cold’ option.
 
Q | Are there any items or combinations that are staff favorites that aren’t on the menu (but you’d be willing to serve up to any customer who asked)?
A | The sandwich started as a staff favorite but quickly transitioned to the menu. We are working on some new additions, however – necessitating significant taste testing in the kitchen. You’ll know as soon as we lock it down.
 
Q | Is the chicken hot in temperature, spice level, or both?
A | Both!
 
Q | I’ve heard that “hot chicken” began in Nashville, Tennessee. Tell us more about how you make it work in Columbus!
A | We fell in love with hot chicken after a trip to Nashville this fall – we knew we had to bring it back somehow. And not just the food, but the atmosphere around the crazy dish. I know we can make it work here because we’re backing up a great meal with a great community of customers.
 
Q | You’re located in Olde Towne East, an up-and-coming trendy neighborhood to the east of downtown. I’ve heard you’ve got a pretty unique seating space. How will that evolve as the seasons change?
A | We’ll always encourage people to meet one another with large community tables. That said we’re still determining the best place to keep those tables permanently! Regarding winter, we’ve got some wild ideas – one of which includes a drive-in, allowing people to get their HCT fix from the warmth of their heated seats.
 
Q | You’ve got a 5 star rating (the “average”) from over 35 reviews on Yelp. What am I missing? Isn’t it just…chicken? I even heard a rumor that you had to buy tickets at some point to get access to some of your hot chicken. You’re clearly doing something right! :)
A | We’ve been so grateful to get the support of the Columbus Yelp community. We credit them with many of our menu changes, tweaks in the process, etc. And there’s no such thing as ‘just’ fried chicken at HCT! We invest a day’s worth of attention into our birds before they get served, and make sure each meal gets served up with a generous host and table mates. HCT is all about the people around the table! That makes the difference.
 
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WHAT A MEAL! It was sooooooo delish.


 
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Look at that piece of chicken. Perfectly seasoned. I can’t even describe how good (and HOT!) it is!


 
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I mean…how are you still looking at my blog right now? I know you’re checking the time to see if they’re still open!


 
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The mac’n’cheese is also super Southern and out of this world. I mean…everything they do, they do right.


 
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The slaw is nice and cool and fresh. A perfect side for the spicy chicken!


 
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And the tea…I couldn’t stop drinking the tea. I think I got 2 refills while I sat there. So refreshing, and perfectly sweetened.


 
I must also mention the music…the music makes the atmosphere. Go check it out to see what I mean! :)
 

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