Belle’s Hot Chicken Opens In Richmond

MELBOURNE | Since opening in Fitzroy in 2014, Belle’s Hot Chicken has become a bit of an institution, with people constantly packing out the venue to get their hands on some of that famous Nashville style fried chicken. Sydneysiders have had the opportunity to get their hands on some Belle’s since last year and now it’s time for Richmond to get in on the action, with owners Morgan McGlone, Reno Pontonio and Miranda Campbell opening Belle’s Hot Chicken at 107 Swan Street today. If you haven’t yet tried the chicken at Belle’s, and want to know a bit more about the kind of food you can expect at the new Belle’s you can read our review of the original Fitzroy branch here.

belle's hot chicken richmond

Belle’s Hot Chicken in Richmond opens today (Friday 19 February 2016), 7 days a week, for lunch and dinner from 12:00pm to late. To find out a bit more about the Richmond branch, we had a chat to McGlone. Here’s what he had to say.

Why Richmond?

Richmond is a great neighbourhood rich in sporting and live music tradition. Our product is perfect for any pre-game or pre and post concert meal. Its also perfect for us to look towards our south side clientele.

How will the Richmond store differ from Fitzroy?

At Richmond the menu will be the same as Fitzroy but we will not be offering large table bookings or large format wines. Each kitchen manager will sell whichever off-menu items they think will sell, it’s totally up to them.

We love Belle’s Nashville style fried chicken, but is there a chance we’ll see fried chicken styles from other parts of the US?

Perhaps! I mean Korean fried chicken is quite popular, no one other than Casey from Rockwell is doing proper buttermilk fried southern style chicken. It’s amazing.

You must be a busy man. Fitzroy, then Barangaroo, now Richmond. Was there always a plan to open several branches?

When I came back from Nashville in June 2014 it was always my intention for us to grow in this way. The food trends come and go, already there are many places now frying chicken. We were the first and must always stay ahead of the competition.

I’ve just come back from a weekend in Perth and the food scene over there has come a long way in just a few short years. Could there be a potential Belle’s in Perth one day?

We would love to open in other states, perhaps more in a licensing arrangement. Perth is definitely one of those cities we would love to work with.

How do you go about taste testing the different coatings for the chicken when coming up with something new?

Belles Hot Chicken recipe is derived from the Sean Brock chicken recipe we developed when I was Chef de cuisine at Husk Nashville. I’ve kept the same recipe since day one for our base chicken coating. As for the heat level, we are looking to go hotter and perhaps bring back the “Sex Panther heat”

I’ve heard that Bar Clarine will be closing so that Belle’s Fitzroy can expand. Can you tell us anything about what’s next for one of Melbourne’s best small wine bars?

We made a company decision to put Bar Clarine on ice because we needed to focus more on Belles and our expansion with that. We would love to open it again some day soon in a touch bigger venue with a awesome kitchen and cellar.

belle's hot chicken richmond

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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