Restaurants

After two years of pop-ups, Hot Chix finds a permanent home

"I think we're just getting started," said co-founder Alex Nystedt.

Nashville hot chicken sandwich from Hot Chix
Nashville hot chicken sandwich from Hot Chix. Hot Chix

Hot Chix first landed on the local fried chicken scene in the summer of 2019, selling fiery Nashville hot chicken sandwiches at breweries and restaurants around the Greater Boston area. Now, after two years of existing as a pop-up, it has finally found a home of its own.

Founders Alex Nystedt, Will Yoo, and Alex Kim will open a Hot Chix brick and mortar at 1220 Cambridge St. in Inman Square, landing in the former site of Guangzhou Restaurant, a Chinese restaurant that recently closed after 30 years.

“We were looking for a space the whole time throughout COVID,” Nystedt told Boston.com. “We were fortunate to not sign anything right before COVID, because that would have been a mess. But we stayed vigilant throughout, just trying to pop up and survive as we could. And then this kind of just showed up in our lap.”

Nystedt said that the permanent location will offer the fried chicken sandwiches and hearty sides (potato salad, macaroni and cheese, banana pudding) that Hot Chix fans have come to know and love, plus new items including bone-in chicken and brunch dishes.

“We just bought a commercial pressure fryer, so we’re excited to use that and get that thing fired up,” Nystedt said, noting that they’re aiming for a July opening. “We’re looking to keep it true to our fast casual southern vibe, but definitely expand where we can.”

Since it first launched, Hot Chix has become a favored pop-up at a handful of local breweries, including Idle Hands Craft Ales, Bone Up Brewing, Widowmaker Brewing, Night Shift Brewing, and Winter Hill Brewing. When its Cambridge location opens, the restaurant will feature beers from the breweries that have hosted them for the past couple of years, along with sodas and other non-alcoholic beverages.

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Nystedt said that Hot Chix will also continue to operate as a pop-up even when the permanent location opens, as a way to “keep our antennae spread out.” During the pandemic, the pop-up has been a regular fixture at Tracy Chang’s PAGU, where it offers pick-up on Tuesdays from 4:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.

After two years of refining their dishes, Nystedt said he feels like Hot Chix has only become better, even during a pandemic that has led to shortages of chicken and soybean oil. He said he can’t wait for the concept to have its own space — and that more projects may soon be on the horizon.

“We’re excited to bring Hot Chix to Boston, but also hopefully something else in the future as well,” Nystedt shared. “I think we’re just getting started.”

Stay tuned for more details on Hot Chix’s Cambridge opening by following @hotchixboston on Instagram.

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