Halo Restaurant Group is bringing a fast-casual chicken eatery to Market Street in the location where Noodles & Co. used to be.
It’ll be Zaxby’s meets Hattie B’s, which is a traditional hot chicken spot in Nashville, Halo culinary director Dave Story said of the new restaurant, which will be called Henpecked Chicken.
“It’s a quick-casual meat-and-three style,” he said. “I love meat-and-threes, and I wanted to do a meat-and-three with chicken.”
The menu will include everything from roasted, smoked and fried chicken to tenders, wings and chicken salad. There will be fried pimento cheese fritters, macaroni and cheese, and collard greens.
Story has more than 20 years’ experience opening new stores and creating menus in kitchens across the South, according to the restaurant group’s website.
So even though the environment will be fast-casual, the cooking isn’t rushed. He won’t be emptying canned beans and serving them. He isn’t just dropping pieces of frozen chicken in a fryer, he said.
“We’re going to make everything in-house,” he said. “It’s quick-casual, but I also want people to understand there’s a craft in it.”
The new restaurant will also serve beer and liquor. Crews are adding garage doors facing Market Street, and there will be a television for anyone who wants to have a drink and watch a game, Story said.
The location is ideal for both tourists and residents, he said.
And there will be a takeaway option.
Whether people eat in-house or pick food up to take away, Story wants to help bring back the Southern Sunday dinner feeling, he said.
The father of two also thought about families with the new business. There will also be meals that children, who may be pickier eaters, will enjoy, he said.
The eatery will be the restaurant group’s first expansion into Chattanooga, and it will employ between 20 and 50 people, Story said.
He’s shooting to be open in April and to start hiring this week.