Burnin’ Mouth now serving Nashville-style hot chicken at Yorktown Center

Will the next big trend in fast food be Nashville hot chicken? The owners of the Los Angeles-based restaurant chain Burnin’ Mouth are betting on it.

The first franchised Burnin’ Mouth in the Midwest opened this week at Yorktown Center in Lombard, and a second one is being eyed for Oak Brook. Existing locations are in Texas and California, where the first Burnin’ Mouth opened at a mall in Oxnard in January 2021.

“Right now, we are aiming for a lot of mall locations,” said Burnin’ Mouth operations coordinator Roy Park. “Malls have a lot of foot traffic, and we want to show our brands to a lot of people.”

The owners of Burnin’ Mouth also run a chain of mall-based dessert restaurants called Devil & Angel, which specialize in soft serve ice cream, doughnuts and boba teas. Park hinted that an Oak Brook location of Devil & Angel is in the cards.

But Park said many Burnin’ Mouth workers have to explain to customers just what is Nashville hot chicken. It is breaded and spiced fried chicken. But it has a healthy dose of dried chile pepper-based powder seasoning.

“It’s not all sauce-based, but it is a powder-based chicken,” Park said. “It will be new for a lot of people around here.”

The menu focuses on sandwiches, wings and strips, with fries and coleslaw as sides.

Burnin’ Mouth also has some Korean influences with another of its signature sandwiches, the Bang Bang. It features sauces based more on garlic soy sauce or sweet chili sauce.

So far, there are no Tennessee locations of Burnin’ Mouth. But Park said it’s not so strange for restaurateurs to be inspired by another regional cuisine. After all, the world’s first franchised Kentucky Fried Chicken location opened in Salt Lake City.

“We have about five locations of Burnin’ Mouth open now. But within the year, we’ll have about 10 more opening,” Park said. “Next year, we’re aiming for about 50 more locations all around the United States.”

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