Henpecked Chicken eatery opening in downtown Chattanooga

February 17th, 2017by Mike Parein Business Diary

The Henpecked Chicken, a new restaurant concept by a Nashville group, will roll out in downtown Chattanooga this spring.

The restaurant is under construction at the site of the former Noodles & Company eatery at 405 Market St. with plans to open around April, according to Halo Restaurant Group.

The Henpecked Chicken Joint, at left, is under...

Photo by Tim Barber /Times Free Press.

"It will have Nashville hot chicken, but be more diverse than that," said Dave Story, the group's culinary director, noting it will offer smoked chicken, too.

He said the restaurant, on which the group is spending under $500,000 to build out, will also offer fried chicken with Southern sides such as collards and green beans.

"It's good ole food I grew up with at grandma's," Story said, adding that it will have a bar. "It's not your typical fried chicken place."

Nate MacDonald, the group's director of real estate development, said Halo likes downtown Chattanooga.

"We wanted to come up with something new and different," he said.

Halo in 2015 purchased Local Taco, which was a family owned Nashville business, and it has opened two of those restaurants in Alabama, MacDonald said.

Plans are for the group to have 12 eateries by the end of 2017 and double that number by late 2018, he said, adding that Halo is looking at a pizza concept.

"That's a pretty aggressive goal," MacDonald said.

Story said the Henpecked Chicken name was the result of brainstorming within the group.

"That stuck. We said let's design a logo," he said.

Halo officials said the restaurant's location, between Applebee's and Panera Bread, has traffic during the week and they believe it will generate enough business on weekends and nights.

"If people find parking there, hopefully we'll find people walking in," MacDonald said.

Jeff Jennings, a commercial real estate broker with NAI Charter Real Estate Corp. who worked with Halo, said the location will receive a lot of foot traffic from everyday Chattanoogans and draw people from the nearby tourist district.

"There's enough synergy around the property," he said. "It's a really good concept. I think Chattanooga will appreciate it."

Noodles & Company operated at the Market Street location for about three years before closing its doors for good in late 2015.

That fast casual chain restaurant based in the Denver area served a variety of noodle-based dishes that ranged from macaroni and cheese to Pad Thai to spaghetti and meatballs.

Contact Mike Pare at mpare@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6318.