For many of us who left our thoroughly northern roots in pursuit of the warm southern ways of Middle Tennessee, terms like “meat and three” and “hot chicken” are not inherently found in our vocabulary. If you try offering any of my family members (largely from the New York City/Long Island area) a meat and three, they wouldn’t know the first thing about what you were talking about. Three sauces? A meat-in-three pieces? And don’t even bother trying to offer them hot chicken. I mean, isn’t all chicken hot? I guess you use cold chicken for chicken salad, right? The concept of Hot Chicken is something that Southerners know well and Nashville has become known for. With new shops opening up regularly, testing the waters with their own style, Nashvillians can try as many hot chicken variations as there are styles of pizza in New York. Amongst the competitive landscape, newcomer Party Fowl, has created more than just a hot chicken shop. They’ve created a destination.
It’s not what Nashvillians consider as a typical hot chicken joint: hole-in-the-wall style, no frills, with one truly featured menu item (hot chicken, duh). Situated on the edge of The Gulch and SoBro, the emerging Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood nearby, Party Fowl’s flashy red exterior is hard to miss. Inside, large television screens line the walls, likely with the day’s football games rolling, and a stage to the right of the entrance hints at the regularly scheduled musical acts. Hot chicken is among the many poultry variations on the menu, indicating that the team at Party Fowl recognize that not everyone will love the signature dish as much as they do. Vegetarians can even get away with dining at the chicken-loving joint via several appetizers and a “Deconstructed Cobb” (with no chicken please!). And for those of us carnivores who enjoy a juicy piece of bird outside of the realm of hot chicken, the Lacquered Lollipops are completely addictive.
Party Fowl is a live music sports bar and restaurant that just happens to serve up some darn good hot chicken. This well-rounded and welcoming impression is what owners Nick Jacobson and Austin Smith were striving for. It’s clear that they’ve poured their heart and soul into their hot chicken haven, its namesake is even derived from their social group’s softball team name. They wanted to create a place to share a meal or watch a game with friends. Not just for those salivating over hot chicken, but for all of their friends to enjoy. Even the beer, wine, and cocktail list is extensive, demonstrating the owners’ years of experience in wine/liquor distribution and restauranteuring. And brunch! Don’t forget about brunch. Yes, they have brunch, including thick pieces of French toast and “The Elvis” muffin with bacon, banana, and chocolate.
As Nashville is considered by many to be the “Hot Chicken Capitol” the number of aficionados may only increase over time. But the team at Party Fowl isn’t just turning out delicious hot chicken, it’s creating an experience. Whether you visit for Monday Night Football, to listen to a local artist, or to sink your teeth into some chicken, there’s a reason to stop by any day of the week. Raising the bar in the “heated” chicken competition, Party Fowl is bridging the gap between local hotspot and local hot chicken stand and showing us recently defected northerners what Southern hospitality (and southern dining) is all about.
Check out their website on the Eat Like a Native page!