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Carla Hall's Hot Chicken Won't End Up in D.C. For Awhile

D.C. is on hold while she builds the brand in NYC

Chicken from Carla Hall's Southern Kitchen
Chicken from Carla Hall's Southern Kitchen
Daniel Krieger/ENY

Carla Hall still wants to bring her Nashville hot chicken to D.C. — just don't expect it to show up here anytime soon.

Eater checked in with the chef and television star at the preview of the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Sweet Home Cafe to find out what’s next for her hot chicken concept.

Southern Kitchen debuted June 17 in Brooklyn (it reopened this month after closing briefly due to power issues). When she first introduced the concept, Hall said that D.C. would be the next home for the casual restaurant after New York. And while that's still the case, Hall tells Eater she now plans to add a "couple more" locations in New York before heading to D.C.

As a first-time restaurant owner, she admits she was a little "naive" by thinking she could just jump from one city to another. She spent most of the summer in New York, learning the ins and outs of running a business— including challenges like having little time to train a staff before opening (she says she's been giving some tips to Chef Jerome Grant, who’s gearing up to debut Sweet Home Cafe at the Smithsonian in nine days here).

Hall says D.C. restaurateur José Andrés gave her the advice to take time to stay put, learn how a city operates, and grow there before expanding elsewhere. "He said use those relationships to open two to three more in the same city," she said. She's taking his advice.

While any D.C. opening is a few years away, Hall has eyed H Street and Anacostia as potential neighborhoods for future locations.

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