Hot Chicken Takeover moving into North Market

Beth Stallings, Columbus Crave

Popular fried chicken carryout Hot Chicken Takeover has found a home for the winter, moving from a pickup window Olde Towne East to the NoMa Kitchen in the North Market.

Hot Chicken Takeover (HCT) will commandeer the second floor space for a pop-up starting in mid-December with nearly a month-long soft opening and plans for a grand opening on Jan. 10, 2015. The pop-up will run through May 2015, open Friday through Sunday during regular North Market hours.

"We're excited about it," says founder and head fryer Joe DeLoss, who first got a taste of the cayenne-spice Nashville-style chicken less than a year ago. He loved it so much he was inspired to bring it here, and then drew crowds to a takeout window on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the summer. "The North Market is a place I've looked up to for so long. To be able to be a part of that; I am really proud of that."

Expect the same HCT menu-various levels of spicy fried chicken, mac-and-cheese, cole slaw and banana pudding, plus all the sweet tea you can drink-with added perks to the service. There will be multiple cashiers, a bigger kitchen to push orders out faster, and more seating at two 32-foot long tables. Aside from some minor façade changes, the diner-style space will remain fairly intact, DeLoss says. "We're still trying to figure out an effective way to do carryout as well," he adds.

Talk of moving into the North Market came organically, DeLoss says, explaining he called North Market executive director Rick Harrison Wolfe when he first opened HCT. "As we've grown, we've kept that conversation alive," DeLoss says. As for a permanent move into the market? "I think we're leaving that as an open opportunity. Our business is still young. We're trying to figure out what we want to be when we grow up. We'll see."

Outside of the North Market, DeLoss also hopes to launch a food truck sometime next year, thanks to the success of their recent Kickstarter campaign, which surpassed its $40,000 goal raising $63,401. The Olde Towne East takeout window will remain open through Nov. 23.