How hot does the food get at Bolton's Spicy Chicken & Fish?
"Extra spicy will have your brain frying," said Adana McAllister, who works at the family-owned restaurant in Nashville, where it has two locations.
A third Bolton's Spicy Chicken & Fish Chattanooga is due to be opened soon by Ed and Guwanda Wickley at 3202 Brainerd Road just past the Missionary Ridge Tunnels. Signage is already up, including a painting on a window of a fire-breathing chicken. The only holdup is the restaurant needs to have a grease trap installed.
"To bring something new to Chattanooga I think would be kind of exciting. I see how popular it is in Nashville," said Ed Wickley, a Chattanooga native whose sister, Dolly Matthews, and her husband, Bolton Matthews, own the Nashville restaurants.
Ed Wickley previously ran two clubs here: Studio 51 on Glass Street and Your Place near Tunnel Boulevard.
"This will be my first restaurant," he said. "It's always been my passion to run my own business, and Chattanooga is growing."
Spicy chicken and fish is a Nashville tradition that's gotten international attention, Dolly Matthews said.
"Nashville is the hot chicken capital of America," she said. "We have people come in all over the world."
Celebrity TV chef Anthony Bourdain included a stop at Bolton's in Nashville on an Oct. 3 episode of his CNN show "Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown."
"He said it was the hottest thing he's had since China," Dolly Matthews.
While spicy brings customers in, it's not mandatory. Bolton's also offers lightly-spiced and nonspicy versions of all of its menu items.
"A family can come and whoever wants hot can get hot," she said. "Whoever wants mild can get mild. And whoever wants nonspicy can get nonspicy."
Bolton's dates back about 40 years ago, she said, when Bolton Polk started a chicken shack in Nashville. He passed the chicken recipe onto his nephew, Bolton Matthews.
Bolton's uses a dry rub on its food, Dolly Matthews said. She declined to say what spices are used in the rub, which isn't for sale.
"Every time we're asked that, we say our recipe is full of love, joy, peace and happiness," she said. "If you eat it, the endophins off of your brain come out so fast you go into a daze and you're happy."