Hotville Chicken with business owner Kim Prince
4070 Marlton Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90008
Hot Chicken is a well-known phenomenon in the south. Created in in the 1930’s by Nashville, Tennessee’s Thornton Price III, this Spicy fried chicken is not for the faint of heart. It has been known to bring grown men to tears and keeps them coming back for more. Originally named “The BBQ Hot Chicken Shack”, Thornton put “spicy”, chicken on the map.
When Andre Prince Jeffries took over the business in the 80’s, she renamed it “Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack” but made sure to keep her great uncle’s recipe. The business’ reputation for having the hottest chicken in the south grew and most people came just to see what all the fuss was about. The restaurant lived up to its reputation. Passed down through generations, the formula for this very successful business continues to work and has garnered somewhat of a cult following, inspiring others to start their own Hot Chicken Joint. It is said that imitation is the best form of flattery, and many tried to imitate. To date, no-one has quite been able to replicate the Prince’s awe inspiring recipe.
It became evident that Princes’ Hot Chicken Shack had become a staple in the community when a fire in December of 2018 caused it to close. Customers would still pull up and linger in the parking lot for extended periods of time, possibly with the hope that if they stared at the closed sign long enough, maybe it would disappear. The community had grown to think of the restaurant as that loving grandma who fed you and made you feel like you were her favorite grandchild and now you couldn’t visit grandma anymore. It took a while for Prince’s to re-open but it did and now boasts two locations in Nashville.
Kim Prince, a member of the royal family of Hot Chicken did not disappoint her ancestors. She picked up the baton of family legacy and did a Usain Bolt level sprint to the finish line of upholding family traditions. In 2016 Prince, niece of Andre Prince Jeffries, decided to take the family business to Los Angeles and “Hotville Chicken” was born. Starting out with Pop up shops in 2016, Hotville Chicken eventually found a permanent home in December of 2019 and has created a lot of buzz since. Featured in multiple articles as well as on many “best of” lists it has become clear that over 80 years of tradition continues to hold strong. Kim Prince decided to take the legacy left by her forefathers to a whole new level. She has used innovation and vision to keep the dream alive.
Admirably, despite the odds stacked against her, not the least of which is maintaining the authenticity of the brand built by her family, Kim found the time to give back to her community with her program to feed the elderly during these very trying and uncertain times.
Located in Baldwin Hills, Crenshaw Mall, Hotville Chicken continues to provide that well needed sense of community and connection despite social distancing and social unrest. It remains a firm reminder that even when faced with adversity, remaining true to our roots will always lead us home.