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Chef and television personality Carla Hall and partner Evan Darnell open Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen—a fast casual serving Nashville-style hot chicken and family recipes—on Columbia Street in the Columbia Street Waterfront District neighborhood of Brooklyn. Intended to be a neighborhood gathering spot, Carla is excited to introduce authentic Nashville-style hot chicken and to share her love of Southern food and hospitality with New York. Funded in part by Kickstarter, Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen is a true collaboration with the community, raising funds from over 1,500 backers to help bring the project to life.
"Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen is a love letter to my hometown of Nashville. I’ve never been able to find true Nashville-style hot chicken in New York, and after searching and trying countless restaurants, I realized that I could bring a taste of the South to Brooklyn,” Hall says. “Some of my favorite childhood memories were the Sunday suppers my grandmothers would cook for the whole neighborhood. I want to recreate that experience at Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen and bring people together through food."
Carla’s Nashville-style hot chicken, ordered by the plate or by the piece, is offered with six different levels of heat ranging from Hoot & Honey, a mild blend of spices and honey meant for “hot chicken virgins” to the Boomshakalaka, a tear-inducing level for true “hot chicken gurus.” The nut-free kitchen also offers a number of all-vegetarian hot and cold Southern sides, in addition to rotating seasonal specials displayed on a hanging scroll of Butcher paper. Signatures include Mac n’ Cheese; Collards n’ Pot Likker; and Sweet & Yukon Gold Potato Salad. Desserts, presented in the restaurant’s display case, include a Southern-inspired Pie or Layer Cake of the Day, as well as fruit cobblers, Nana Pudding, and Sammy’s soft serve.
The beverage program features a selection of craft beers, including picks from Blackberry Farms Brewery (Walland, Tennessee), Nashville’s own Yazoo Brewing Company, and a custom brewed lager—exclusive to Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen – from Brooklyn Brewery called “Thelma’s Brew.” Cocktails from Charleston, South Carolina–based Bittermilk, as well as red and white wine from Gotham Project, will be available on tap. To round out the offerings, Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen will serve sweet tea soda and lemonade, as well as sodas from Pure Sodaworks (Chattanooga, Tennessee).
Guests will also be able to purchase artisanal products from The Nashville Jam Company and Olive & Sinclair Chocolate Co., among other local Nashville purveyors, as part of “Freddie Mai’s Provisions”—a small retail section of the restaurant named after Carla’s grandmother. The selection will rotate, highlighting seasonal ingredients, and new products. Recipe cards for fan-favorite dishes are also available for the taking in vintage recipe tins, encouraging guests to cook up a taste of Nashville at home.
The visual identity of Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen, designed by AvroKO, is guided by the Southern saying “Do Drop In!” The space evokes Nashville southern comfort and reflects Carla’s mish-mash of down n’ dirty, unpretentious fun with wholesome foodie enthusiasm. The 30-seat restaurant features communal picnic-style tables, counter seating, and perch rails for those on the go. Reclaimed recipe cards from true Southern kitchens adorn the bathroom walls, and a “Love Letter to Nashville” penned by Carla decorates the back wall. Carla’s personal family photos and names from Carla’s Kickstarter Founders’ Wall hang among the restaurant’s playful chicken-patterned wall paper, while colorful barn lights and pickled veggie jars accent the wood, brick, and enamel elements, furthering the overall authentic and familiar aesthetic.
Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen is located at 115 Columbia Street in Brooklyn, New York, and is open from 4 to 10 p.m. daily. The restaurant offers Nashville-style hot chicken, traditional Southern sides, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages. A curated selection of Southern goods are available for purchase in the restaurant’s retail section. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen operates on a first-come, first-serve basis and does not accept reservations. Delivery via DoorDash is available. Takeout ordering available.