‘Nashville Hot’ chicken coming to Austin Landing, Centerville

1:06 p.m Monday, Sept. 26, 2016 What To Know

“Mike’s Nashville Hot” chicken restaurants are coming to Far Hills Avenue in Centerville and to the Austin Landing development in Miami Twp., a spokesman for Nashville Hot said today, Sept. 26.

The restaurants — the first in the Dayton region for the brand — are under development at 6230 Far Hills Ave. (Ohio 48) in the Shops of North Village retail center, adjacent to a Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches restaurant, which opened in May 2014, and in the Austin Landing retail center east of I-75 and Austin Pike.

The Austin Landing is expected to be the first of the two restaurants to open, probably in November, with the Centerville location to follow, according to Nashville Hot spokesman Joey Zembrodt.

A lease has been executed for the 2,700-square-foot Far Hills Avenue space by Todd Duplain, CEO of real estate development firm RG Properties, on behalf of RG Properties founder Randy Gunlock, according to Kelly Gray, commercial real estate broker and vice president of Equity Inc. Jeff Zimmer, managing partner of the The Shops of North Village, confirmed the lease and referred questions about the new restaurant to Duplain. Exterior signage for the new restaurant has been installed.

Messages left with Duplain Sunday and today were not returned.

Nashville Hot has Cincinnati-area roots. The brainchild of former Tom+Chee sandwich chain president David Krikorian, the chicken restaurant opened its first — and so far only — location in February 2016 in Crescent Springs, Kentucky.

At that time, Krikorian told WCPO.com the restaurant would be the first of many Nashville Hot locations to open in the Cincinnati, Dayton, Indianapolis and Cleveland areas.

The fast-casual chicken segment of the Dayton-area and southwest Ohio restaurant market — already competitive with KFC, Lee’s Famous Recipe and other chains — is suddenly heating up. Consider:

• Chick-fil-A opened a location in the Cornerstone of Centerville development in late 2015; invested $1 million in a makeover of its Washington Twp. franchise store this summer; and is now building a new restaurant in front of Town & Country Shopping Center in Kettering.

• Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is gearing up to more than double its footprint in the Dayton area, starting with a new restaurant in Springboro. Popeyes, known for its fried chicken and Cajun-style side dishes, operates restaurants in Harrison Twp. and Springfield, and is scheduled to build a new location on Ohio 73 just east of I-75. Its franchise owner says he’s looking to develop “three or four more locations” across the region in the next 18 months.

• Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers has entered the southwest Ohio market, with a West Chester restaurant that is already open and a Fairfield location that is gearing up to open next month, and Louisville-based Joella’s Hot Chicken is planning to expand into the Cincinnati-area market with two locations this year.

At Nashville Hot, patrons can set the spice level on their made-to-order chicken, from traditional to Yankee Mild to Midwest Medium to Southern Heat to Nashville Hot, the spiciest level. Its menu also includes Chicken & Waffles, “Tennessee Caviar” (black-eyed pea salad), and a fruit cobbler of the day, served with ice cream.

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