Ever since its launch in November 2020, Hot Chikn Kitchn has established itself as an exciting new franchise in Virginia and beyond. CEO and Founder Mike Sarago, along with his Business Partner and son Anthony Sarago, has a number of exciting plans for his establishment, particularly with opening up many new locations. His newest location, however, is located right in downtown Fredericksburg. In the coming weeks, a new Hot Chikn Kitchn will open at Fredericksburg Square on Caroline Street.
Fredericksburg Square is already home to Water’s End Brewery, and with the addition of Hot Chikn Kitchn, the location will be a premiere destination in this city. Hot Chikn Kitchn focuses on Nashville-style chicken sandwiches, with an emphasis on batter and sauces.
The flavorful sauces for the chicken come in four levels of heat: Base (cayenne pepper), After Burner (habanero), Angry Hot (scorpion pepper), and Medic (Carolina Reaper). Sarago believes that the pepper infusions perfectly compliment the sauces; still, he encourages caution when it comes to the true heat of Medic. He said that certain guests have “The Look,” which tells him that they have been eating Medic.
Sarago said that the most popular level is After Burner, which has the perfect level of spice and flavor. But he is proud of each of his sauces, as well as the delicious Plain sandwich as well. Sarago chose chicken as the staple for his business, as he believes it is a “natural resting spot for most people.” He also said that the diversity of America has provided us with different forms of spice from all over the world. According to Sarago, hot sauce has become an increasingly popular condiment, and decided that chicken and hot sauces are the most universal options for his guests.
In addition to the delicious chicken sandwiches, Hot Chikn Kitchn sells macaroni and cheese and cole slaw as sides, as well as a Chicken and Waffles as an additional entree. Sarago loves the quality of his product, as that is why he got into the restaurant industry in the first place.
“My entry into the restaurant business is because I like to eat, strictly,” he said.
When Sarago came across Fredericksburg Square with his partner and Water’s End co-owner Zach Mote, he knew that the historic building would be the perfect location for Hot Chikn Kitchn. Sarago works with Business Partner Frederic Gilmore, who was a White House catering chef prior to working for Hot Chikn Kitchn. Sarago said that Gilmore will bring a level of quality to Hot Chikn Kitchn that he has demonstrated throughout his career.
Sarago’s goal is for Hot Chikn Kitchn, and Water’s End brewery, to incorporate into the community at Fredericksburg Square. After the crux of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sarago wanted to create an environment for guests to enjoy both the chicken and community, and feels that he has done so with Hot Chikn Kitchn. With Fredericksburg Square, Sarago wants to bring his life experiences with community and food to downtown.
“Whether you’re here for a beer, whether you’re here for an event, whether you’re here for the food, we wanted to create a gathering place for people that I see legs in,” he said.
Hot Chikn Kitchn is currently hiring. Fredericksburg Square is located at 525 Caroline Street. Follow them on Facebook.