New fast-casual chicken eatery Henpecked Chicken is moving toward opening, and the team is aiming to set the restaurant apart from others.
Halo Restaurant Group is behind the new concept, which is bringing a variety of homemade food to downtown's Market Street, where Noodles & Co. used to be.
"Fried chicken places are everywhere, so when we started thinking about this spot ... our goal was to ... separate from the fried chicken market," Halo culinary director Dave Story said.
They will do that with unique salads, sides, sauces, shakes and skee-ball.
There is extra room in the back of the restaurant, and Story wanted to do something unique with it. So he's ordered two skee-ball machines and has plans to start a skee-ball league, possibly with competition between the Chattanooga restaurant and other Halo establishments in Nashville. Click here for more information.
It's something he hopes will be attractive to both children and adults at different times of the day.
In addition to brined chicken, which is another differentiator, Henpecked Chicken will offer salads with housemade dressings. Story wants to have light options.
There will also be a variety of homemade sauces to go with the chicken.
Story hopes the homemade sides and milkshakes will also set the restaurant apart from others. Visitors won't find canned green beans at Henpecked, he said.
The milkshakes will also be made from scratch, down to the flavoring. There won't be any Hersey's syrup used, he said.
The Chattanooga Beer and Wrecker Board approved the restaurant's permit Thursday.
"By no stretch are we a bar, but we are going to have [local] beer, wine and drunken [adult] milkshakes to complement the fried chicken," he said.
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 be meals that children, who may be pickier eaters, will enjoy, he said.
Eventually, Story hopes to grow the brand beyond downtown Chattanooga.
So far, Story has hired about 40 people, and he's shooting for an early May opening.