When Edward Wickley closed his popular Flaming Rooster restaurant, he didn't have a new location in mind. He did, however, reach out the folks at the Tennessee Small Business Development Center and Proof, a restaurant industry incubator, for advice and help.
Through them, he learned that the space formerly occupied by a Chinese restaurant on Broad Street next door to Koch's Bakery was available. Wickley has spent the last several weeks cleaning and remodeling the more than 2,000-square-foot restaurant.
He's also adding two additional fryers which will allow him to get the hot chicken and fish dishes that fans of his food love so much out to them quicker.
"That was the biggest complaint we had in the other place was the time it took to get orders out. This will fix that."
The fryers are expected in the next week or two and when they arrive, he will be ready to open for business. He is hoping opening day will be no later than Nov. 7.
Wickley said he decided to move the restaurant after one too many car accidents in front of his store at the corner of Brainerd Road and South Seminole. The final straw was when a car came through the front of the building.
"I was cleaning up and it came through the front window," he said. "Wrecks happen there all the time and I couldn't live with myself if a car came up on the sidewalk and somebody got hurt."
The Flaming Rooster serves up Nashville-style hot dishes including chicken, shrimp, catfish, whiting, tilapia and pork plates and sandwiches. It's a cayenne pepper dry rub his family has perfected at Bolton's in Nashville, and of course, Wickley has added his own twists to it.
Customers can choose their level of heat, but be warned, the Oh Hale Naw is called that for a reason.
Wickley laughs at some of the stories of people feeling froggy and trying the hot dish. He said one guy came in and thought he was about to see someone get shot. He was standing over another guy with something in his hand.
"It was actually his phone and he was filming his friend on the floor crying," Wickley laughed.
"I'm adding cornbread and muffins and a chicken breast sandwich," Wickley said. He's also adding wine to go with beer on the menu.
He said the restaurant will have seven employees and about 50 seats in the dining area. Take-out and curbside pickup is available.
When it opens next month, it will be open from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m Friday and Saturday.
Contact Barry Courter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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