clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Budlong Hot Chicken Finally Opens Today to Spice Up Lincoln Square

Patient fans can finally get their Nashville hot fix on the north side

The Budlong is finally opening on Western Avenue.
Nick Fochtman

Lincoln Square is about 480 miles away from Nashville, but that distance feels shorter now that The Budlong Hot Chicken is finally opening to the public. Owner Jared Leonard officially opens the new restaurant at 11 a.m. today (Tuesday) for the lunchtime crowd, frying up his mega-popular Nashville-style spicy chicken. This location, 4619 N. Western Ave., joins locations at Revival Food Hall in The Loop and in Lincoln Park.

Leonard initially planned to this Budlong on Western Avenue to be his first. The saga in Lincoln Square spans three years with two different locations, spending two years on the buildout, eventually delaying it to be the third location open. It’s a busy time for Leonard, who also recently renamed and remodeled Rub’s Backcounty Smokehouse in Rogers Park to BBQ Supply Co.

The Lincoln Square location looks like the older fast-casual sibling to the Lincoln Park spot. There are a few menu additions including fresh doughnuts made from potato flour. Leonard has put a lot of care into developing a biscuit recipe, working with pastry chef Kaybee Macintosh to perfect the item. The biscuit should be a great compliment to the crispy chicken that Leonard’s staff can prepare at various levels of spice depending on the customer. Those who have traveled to Nashville may have sampled legends such as Hattie B’s and Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack, which influenced Leonard.

The new spot is only serving lunch on opening day, but will start dinner service on Wednesday. Weekend brunch—including chicken tenders and waffles— is served in Lincoln Park and also part of the Lincoln Square plan.

Though Leonard has previously opened three Budlongs (including the defunct Lakeview location), Lincoln Square always remained first in his heart. He’ll reward patient customers starting today—at least until 5 p.m. when they’ll close on their very first day.

The Budlong Hot Chicken Lincoln Square, 4619 N. Western Ave., (773) 270-9005, open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

The Budlong Lincoln Square

4619 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL Visit Website

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater Chicago newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world