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Hotville hot chicken is opening a location in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw mall

Kim Prince, owner, prepares Nashville Hot Chicken bites from Hotville Chicken during The Taste on th
Kim Prince, owner of Hotville, is opening a location of her hot chicken pop-up at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw mall.
(Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

Hotville, the hot chicken pop-up run by Kim Prince, will finally become a restaurant this month.

She has partnered with Greg Dulan, owner of Dulan’s Soul Food and Catering in Hyde Park, to open Hotville at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw mall on Dec. 17.

Prince started Hotville as a pop-up in Chinatown in 2016 and has been making hot chicken at various restaurants and breweries around Los Angeles since.

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She will serve her hot chicken in breast and leg quarters and as wings at the new restaurant. There will be five heat levels, including West Coast Plain (no heat), Cali Mild, Music City Medium, Nashville Hot and an even hotter, yet-to-be-named level. There will also be a fried chicken sandwich called the Shaw, named for the Crenshaw community she now calls home.

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Prince will be frying fish too (with your choice of heat level) and making BBQ baked beans, mac and cheese, seasoned fries, waffles, kale slaw and potato salad. There will be sweet tea, rotating flavors of Kool-Aid, and lemonade. And for dessert, key lime pie and lemon sour cream pound cake.

Prince is the niece of Andre Prince Jeffries, owner of the two Prince’s Hot Chicken Shacks in Nashville. In the last few years, hot chicken has exploded in Los Angeles, with multiple chefs and home cooks selling their versions of hot chicken. Prince, the only one with direct ties to the family that invented the dish, seemed to get lost in the mix.

“Somewhere around 2013, I opened up my big mouth and said we were scouting L.A., and that’s what sparked it,” Prince said earlier this year. “And people beat us to the punch.”

With the opening of Hotville, Prince will be the first in the family to venture out of Tennessee with a hot chicken business.

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“I am personally moved by the outpouring of support,” she said. “It hasn’t been an easy journey, and we’ve got a long, hot road ahead. And we are going to fry every chicken that crosses it!”

Although hot chicken restaurants and pop-ups seem to be opening everywhere, Dulan, Prince’s partner in the new business, said the hot chicken craze has not yet reached South Los Angeles.

“People are just learning about Nashville hot chicken in South Los Angeles,” he said. “I am doing my best to build Nashville hot chicken awareness as well as the Hotville brand.”

For decades, a small group of black-owned businesses have supplied South L.A. with chicken sausage links, an integral part of black L.A.'s food culture.

But for Dulan, the restaurant opening is about much more than introducing hot chicken to a new set of diners — it represents the coming together of two successful restaurant families with storied histories in their respective communities. He started his restaurant career in the same South L.A. neighborhood, working at his parents’ Hamburger City restaurant on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Hillcrest Drive when he was 13. His family now runs the three Dulan’s Soul Food restaurants in L.A. and Inglewood.

“You have two iconic African American restaurant families each with decades of operations under our belt coming together to start Hotville,” Dulan said, referencing the Prince family’s nearly 90-year legacy in Nashville and the Dulan family’s 50 years in the L.A. restaurant business. “Both families benefit from tremendous love, admiration and support from our respective communities.”

The restaurant will be open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Prince hopes to add takeout and delivery orders eventually.

4070 Marlton Ave., Los Angeles.

Updates:
3:11 PM, Dec. 02, 2019: This post was updated with the address of the restaurant.

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