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Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Zack Poole brings food out to customers at the new Party Fowl restaurant in Hamilton Place Mall on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 in Chattanooga, Tenn. The restaurant specializes in Nashville Hot Chicken and is located in the former Bar Louie space.

Austin Smith has several rules when it comes to the Party Fowl restaurants he co-owns with Nick Jacobson.

"I only open them in places where I have family or a tie to the area and we have two rules for our staff: No. 1, we are a family and No. 2, don't poison the well," he said. "We want people who come here to feel like they came to our house for dinner."

He said the goal is for people to become familiar with their server or bartender.

"Everybody is a regular here," he said.

The pair opened the fifth, and first outside of Middle Tennessee, on Monday in the old Bar Louie space at Hamilton Place. Smith said his ties to this area are multi-tiered. They opened a restaurant in the Cool Springs shopping center in Franklin and have a good relationship with the developers, CBL, the Chattanooga-based shopping center firm that also owns and operates Hamilton Place.

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Party Fowl

Also, Smith's dad, Gary Smith was a musician/producer once married to Christie Forester of the Forester Sisters from just across the Georiga state line on Lookout Mountain.

"I have family in that area and family is real big with us."

There are two Party Fowl restaurants in Nashville and another in Donelson. Smith said there are no plans to franchise the restaurants, but to open other restaurants in the future.

"These are our babies, and we plan to open and run them," he said.

The restaurants are based around their Nashville hot chicken, but Smith said they are also known for their Sunday brunches, Bloody Marys and service. The stores have been featured on national cooking shows and in several magazines for their brunches and the cocktails.

The cayenne-based hot chicken is featured on sandwiches such as the Hot Chicken N' Cheddar, Hot Chicken Po'Boy and Hot Chicken Cuban Sandwich, as well as the Hot Chicken Beignets and Hot Chicken Street Tacos. Spice levels include Southern Fried, Mild, Medium, Nashville Hot and Poutlrygeist.

Smith's father is credited for the name after a guest at a family party was over-served.

"We had a party back in 1999 and one of our friends lost his lunch and my dad yelled, 'Party fowl.' Me and my friends were teenagers and had never heard that. We thought it was hilarious so I just changed the 'u' to a 'w.' "

The Hamilton Place location has 4,000-square-feet of dining space, including a patio and can seat just over 200 people.

Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.

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