Hot Birdie's Chicken brings the heat and then some amid soft opening crush of customers

·2 min read
The Hot Birdie chicken sandwich is a featured dish that will be offered at Hot Birdie's Chicken, a new quick service restaurant opening later this year that is owned by Kevin Stout, who also owns Food Glorious Food.
The Hot Birdie chicken sandwich is a featured dish that will be offered at Hot Birdie's Chicken, a new quick service restaurant opening later this year that is owned by Kevin Stout, who also owns Food Glorious Food.

This is some kickin' chicken.

The much-anticipated debut of Hot Birdie's Chicken is finally here as the gourmet quick-service restaurant concept is now open.

Located at 1870 Thomasville Road, the new drive-thru restaurant took over the former N2Sweets ice cream shop next door to Tasty Asian, a Chinese and Japanese restaurant, in the Capital Plaza.

More: The heat is on: Hot Birdie's Chicken a Tallahassee-born entry into chicken sandwich wars

On Jan. 14, one day into the soft opening, people were so psyched about getting a taste that owner Kevin Stout said he was stunned to see customers running to get inside the restaurant doors.

"I'm not exaggerating," said Stout, who also owns Food Glorious Food restaurant up the street on Thomasville Road. "I've never seen anything like it."

Kevin Stout, owner and executive chef at Food Glorious Food, poses with the Hot Birdie chicken sandwich Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. Stout will serve the sandwich as well as several others at his new restaurant Hot Birdie's Chicken, which is set to open later this year.
Kevin Stout, owner and executive chef at Food Glorious Food, poses with the Hot Birdie chicken sandwich Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021. Stout will serve the sandwich as well as several others at his new restaurant Hot Birdie's Chicken, which is set to open later this year.

On Jan. 15, a family emergency forced Stout to abruptly close Hot Birdie's Chicken, even with people inside. Had he not done that, Stout said, "We were on our way to just crushing it."

"I maybe would have run out of product, and I ordered a lot of product," Stout said. "I just planned ahead, but it was still more than I anticipated."

When asked what's driving the surge in customers, Stout jokingly said: People are crazy for fried chicken.

True. But, the early opening stampede is customary for Tallahassee foodies, who love something new to sink their teeth into. Yet this concept is already familiar to many.

Hot Birdie's signature sandwich originated at FGF, where the crispy, and sometimes messy, buffalo chicken sandwich was a spicy staple that spun off a stand-alone restaurant.

The Hot Birdie chicken sandwich is a featured dish that will be offered at Hot Birdie's Chicken, a new quick service restaurant opening later this year that is owned by Kevin Stout, who also owns Food Glorious Food.
The Hot Birdie chicken sandwich is a featured dish that will be offered at Hot Birdie's Chicken, a new quick service restaurant opening later this year that is owned by Kevin Stout, who also owns Food Glorious Food.

On Jan. 26, the official grand opening for Hot Birdie's Chicken takes place and includes performances from members of Florida A&M's Marching 100 and fire breathers.

Stout said the soft opening allowed him and his staff to address initial operational issues that are being addressed.

There's limited space inside to eat. Most orders are made in-house to go. While the restaurant has a drive-thru window, it's not yet available. Stout hopes to bring it online in the near future.

Contact TaMaryn Waters at tlwaters@tallahassee.com or follow @TaMarynWaters on Twitter.

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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Hot Birdie's Chicken opens doors in Tallahassee