Dave's Hot Chicken comes to roost in Bricktown

·3 min read

The Social Order Dining Collective opens the state's first Dave's Hot Chicken franchise recently in Bricktown next-door to its Fuzzy's Tacos store.

Dave's, 208 Johnny Bench Dr., emerged from the Nashville-style spicy fried chicken uprising of the 20-teens, like locally owned Nashbird Hot Dang Chicken.

Brian Bogert and the folks at Social Order Dining Collective have succeeded operating franchises like Fuzzy's and Texadelphia Cafe. Social Order also handles food service at The Jones Assembly and operates the Spark burger bar in Scissortail Park.

Dave's was born during the Nashville-style hot chicken run of the 20-teens, but comes to Oklahoma by way of Hollywood, California. Buddies Dave Kopushyan, Arman Oganesyan, and Tommy and Gary Rubenyan founded the company. Kopushyan's classic French culinary training included a stop at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry, which made him the ringer of the group of entrepreneurs seeking to jump on the trend.

Like so many on the West Coast, Dave's started in a parking lot and was quickly turbo-boosted by social media hype.

The Oklahoma store is the 73rd Dave's store and still more are planned across the United States.

Folks will likely be lined up out the door of the unique space. Los Angeles street artist Splatterhaus, who has painted installations at all Dave’s Hot Chicken locations, spent three days creating custom graffiti installations on most of the walls.

The menu is a simple, revolving around its batter-fried chicken that's then seasoned or sauced to the customer's specifications. The chicken is served on a slice of white bread or on a slider. Other items include fries, kale slaw, and mac and cheese. Fries can be covered in cheese, as can sliders.

A Slider meal served with French fries OklahomaÕs first DaveÕs Hot Chicken in downtown Oklahoma City, Okla. on Wednesday, August 3, 2022.
A Slider meal served with French fries OklahomaÕs first DaveÕs Hot Chicken in downtown Oklahoma City, Okla. on Wednesday, August 3, 2022.

I dropped in recently for the sneak-peak service, and sampled a chicken tender with Reaper seasoning and a slider dialed down to Hot.

The Reaper didn't shut my throat or anything, but it was plenty spicy. The attached video might not show the ring of sweat that lingered around my hairline, though that could've been outside temperatures. Guess I'll have to go back when the weather is a little more kind to be sure.

To try the Reaper chicken I had to sign a waiver indemnifying Dave's from any liability should the chicken have harmed my property or person, no excluding death.

That's right, Dave's confirms its Reaper-level chicken is capable of killing you in black-and-white. The waiver never indicates how it might kill you nor does it offer any tips for evasive action. Buyer beware, I suppose.

On the other hand, credit to Dave's for transparency. I am pretty sure a double-Whopper with cheese can be lethal, too, but I don't see The King out warning people with waivers.

But I digress. Once I got some honey on that Reaper chicken, it threw some balance on it and made it a very nice bite of chicken. The slider set to Hot triggered a couple of alarms, but the kale slaw and sweet Dave's dipping sauce acted as dampers.

Fries were good, and the service was fast. Dave's doesn't offer a lot of variety, but what they do offer is exemplary counter-service fare. Look forward to returning for a milkshake.

This Dave's location has a limited selection of beer in bottles, but it will also have something no other Dave's has: Frozen cocktails. Flavored in margarita, whiskey lemonade and cherry limeade daiquiri, Social Order's experience played into the decision. Bogert was able to convince the Dave’s team Social Order had the experience to run a pilot program.

Look forward to trying one once I'm off duty.

If this store does well, Social Order will have an option to open up to seven more stores in the Oklahoma City area. The Bricktown location is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For more information, call 563-9158.

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Bricktown welcomes Dave's Hot Chicken next to Fuzzy's Tacos