clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A Nashville Hot Chicken Sensation Is Coming to Washington

Dave’s Hot Chicken announced a deal to open 10 locations around the Seattle area

A storefront with a patio with red tables and chairs in front and the words “Dave’s Hot Chicken” written on a sign in all caps.
Dave’s Hot Chicken is a popular spicy chicken sandwich franchise from California.
Dave’s Hot Chicken

Dave’s Hot Chicken, a wildly popular California-born Nashville hot chicken franchise, is finally coming to Washington after opening hundreds of locations in other parts of the country. The company announced today that it had signed a deal to open up ten locations in the Seattle area and is actively looking for real estate.

Dave’s Hot Chicken launched as a pop-up in an East Hollywood parking lot by Arman Oganesyan and chef Dave Kopushyan, along with brothers Tommy and Gary Rubenyan in 2017. It rapidly took off, and with a 2019 deal with Wetzel’s Pretzels co-founder and former CEO, Bill Phelps, and movie producer John Davis, the business has since sold the franchise rights for 599 locations.

Since opening, Dave’s Hot Chicken has gotten a lot of attention for a series of celebrity investors like musical artist Drake, former California First Lady Maria Shriver, Red Sox owner Tom Werner, actor Samuel L. Jackson, and Good Morning America anchor and retired NFL player Michael Strahan. Drake’s sizable stake in the brand, especially, has brought publicity to the chain.

For whatever reason, Dave’s Hot Chicken has stayed out of Washington until this year, despite opening a location near Portland in 2021.

The brand keeps a simple menu, with options for tenders and fried chicken sliders loaded up with kale slaw, pickles, and sauce, with seven spice levels from no spice to the intensely — perhaps dangerously — spicy, “reaper” option that is only available to customers who sign a waiver. Each spice level is made with a different blend of spices and have unique flavors, not just varying degrees of capsaicin. The shops also serve fries and milkshakes.

In a city with a lot of excellent fried chicken, but with few spots serving it in the Nashville hot style (outside of Sisters and Brothers), the chain will likely be a hit in whatever neighborhood it sets up in.

A man holds four hot chicken sliders oozing with cheese up to the camera.
The hot fried chicken sliders at Dave’s Hot Chicken.
Dave’s Hot Chicken

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater Seattle newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world