the takeover: origin story

If you haven’t been hiding under a rock for the past three years, then you’ve definitely heard of Hot Chicken Takeover. If you have been hiding (no judgements), then get excited…. because the Cbus Food Bloggers got a behind the scenes look at the incredible Hot Chicken Takeover, and I’m about to share all of the juicy details with you.

Hot Chicken Takeover, founded by Joe DeLoss, actually started as a pop-up in Olde Towne East. In the beginning, Joe didn’t know anything about chicken (he was actually a vegetarian for a while!), but after a trip to Nashville, TN, Joe fell IN LOVE with hot chicken. Not just the taste, but the community and the magic behind Nashville hot chicken. He believed that magic would translate to Columbus, OH, so when he returned, he started doing research. Long story short, after many trials and errors and family taste tests, he thought he came up with a good fried chicken recipe, and had some outsiders try it as well.  They loved it, and Hot Chicken Takeover was born!

Joe started a pop-up shop in Olde Towne East and a little later, Joe launched a kickstarter campaign, which blew up, and he was able to start the first HCT food truck! When Joe started hiring employees, he knew he wanted to be a fair-chance employer and to give people with all kinds of backgrounds a second chance.

After a pretty brutal winter, the North Market approached HCT with the idea of them “taking over” the upstairs space at the North Market. The whole restaurant was put together using items they found around the space: old wood pallets and cardboard boxes, and they have been killin’ it up at the North Market ever since!

Hot Chicken Takeover has seriously taken off, a restaurant in Clintonville, and their new(ish) space at Easton. With all of the new changes and expansions, Hot Chicken Takeover has stayed true to their roots. They have an incredibly simple menu that includes fresh, farm-raised, steroid and hormone free chicken, two sides: Ma’s slaw and Ma’s mac (Ma being Joe’s grandma), banana pudding (DO NOT MISS THIS), and complementary sweet tea, just how Ma liked it!

So stop what you’re doing, get out from under that rock, and GO EAT SOME HOT CHICKEN!