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Tucson, AZ

New Spicy-Chicken Restaurant on 4th Avenue

Posted by 
Greyson F
Greyson F
 23 days ago
Grab yourself a spicy-chicken sandwichEiliv-Sonas Aceron/Unsplash

Over the past year, greater Tucson has seen considerable restaurant turnover. While openings and closures are a regular part of the restaurant life cycle, more closures took place due to the extended layoff and shutdowns this past year than in normal years. However, with the spaces left over by these restaurants new establishments have started to move in. This is true throughout the city, including 4th Avenue. 

In terms of eateries and bars, there are more businesses of this nature along 4th Avenue than in just about every other part of metro Tucson. In many ways, all of the businesses here rely on one another. With the combination of restaurants, bars, clothing boutiques, and trinket shops, all of these varying businesses help bring customers throughout the week, so when one space opens up the rest of the community can feel it. 

At 600 North 4th Avenue, TallBoys once called the location home, but when the establishment closed down it left a small hole in the community. That hole is now being filled with Pops Hot Chicken. 

If the name Pops Hot Chicken sounds familiar it’s because it is. The spicy chicken joint originally started up as a food truck here in Tucson, and with its success and the new opening, the Nashville-style chicken joint moved in. 

A soft opening for the location did begin on Friday, May 21, and will run through Sunday, May 23 with a limited menu. However, the restaurant will officially open up to the public on June 5. 

If you’ve visited the food truck before you may already be familiar with the smaller food truck menu. However, with the increase in cooking and preparation space, there will be a larger menu inside the restaurant, including additional breakfast offerings. Of course, everything will still be made using the familiar Nashville spicy flavors (with a slight Southwestern kick). 

The restaurant will also eventually hold a full bar, so you’ll be able to kick back, grab a spicy chicken sandwich, and order yourself a drink. This makes it an excellent location to kick your night off with, to end your night with, or simply when you have the craving for spicy chicken and you don’t want to end up at a fast-food joint. 

If you were a fan of Pops Hot Chicken but have been wondering where the food truck went to, it actually caught fire at the beginning of last year. When the food truck caught fire it was a total loss, and it pushed owner Peter Yucupicio out of the mobile food business. At least for a little while. You might not have fully noticed the loss of the food truck because it happened in February, just before the shutdown of most restaurants in Tucson. He did still have a small offering at the American East Co. Inside of the Southside food hall. However, the chicken sandwiches will no longer be served there as all of Peter’s attention will be focused on opening and running the brand new restaurant.

With the new sit-down joint, you’ll be able to taste the familiar chicken once again. And yet if part of you misses the ability to grab a sandwich from the food truck don’t worry, there will be that opportunity shortly. This is because there are some plans in the works for a new food truck in the near future. 

If you can stop by Pops Hot Chicken for its opening that would be fantastic. However, even if you can’t, the next time you’re down on 4th Avenue make sure to pop your head in, say high, and maybe grab yourself a spicy chicken. 

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