clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

8-Year-Old Shoreditch Barbecue Restaurant Pivots to Nashville-Style Hot Chicken

Red Dog Saloon, which has survived the unforgiving Hoxton Square, will rebrand its basement as Louie’s

Louie’s hot chicken is coming to Hoxton Square in Shoreditch
Louie’s [Official Photo]

In May this year, a new restaurant serving only Nashville hot chicken, beneath and affiliated to an eight-year-old Shoreditch barbecue spot, will open on Shoreditch’s Hoxton Square.

Louie’s, as originally reported by Hot Dinners, claims itself as the first London restaurant to dedicate its menu to the dish.

Distinct from its close relative (buttermilk) fried chicken, hot chicken typically incorporates hot cayenne pepper, either in a spice mix or an infused oil, lending it a red hue — a 70-year-old dish synonymous with city in the southern state of Tennessee.

Louie’s, its creators say, “has distinctive deep red colour and a fiery, crispy coating — setting itself apart from the existing fried chicken found in London.”

Whether or not this first site is a pilot for a potential roll-out remains to be seen. While it will not replace Red Dog Saloon, it will take over its basement space and be given its own discreet entrance. Hoxton Square has been among the more unforgiving patches of east London in the past year — unable to sustain either 8 Hoxton Square or a popular Byron burger branch in 2018.

Guests will be invited to adjust their order according to taste — selecting the cut of the chicken and specifying the level of spice. The dish is traditionally served on slices of white bread, with pickles. At Louie’s it will be offered with “traditional Southern sides.”

Tom Brooke, the founder of Red Dog Saloon and “barbecue expert” said that “This is an exciting time to be introducing Nashville fried chicken to London for the first time ever. Louie’s will serve red-hot chicken like nowhere else in the city.” It follows his decision in 2011 to open Red Dog Saloon as a “solution to the commonly found dry, unloved and unskilled ‘que.” The brand now has sites in Clapham, Soho, Southampton, London, and Nottingham.

More soon.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater London newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world