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Dave's Hot Chicken, a California-based hot <a class=chicken chain, is set to enter the South Carolina market in the Columbia, Greenville, Charleston and Myrtle Beach areas.” title=”Dave’s Hot Chicken, a California-based hot chicken chain, is set to enter the South Carolina market in the Columbia, Greenville, Charleston and Myrtle Beach areas.” loading=”lazy”/>

Dave’s Hot Chicken, a California-based hot chicken chain, is set to enter the South Carolina market in the Columbia, Greenville, Charleston and Myrtle Beach areas.

A California restaurant chain specializing in Nashville-style hot chicken is set to enter the South Carolina market, including the Columbia area.

Dave’s Hot Chicken, a fast-casual Los Angeles-based chain that has former investors including rapper Drake, actor Samuel L. Jackson and former California first lady Maria Shriver, said in a press release it was planning locations in South Carolina in the Columbia, Charleston, Greenville and Myrtle Beach areas.

The company entered into a franchise agreement with Kal Gullapalli for the Palmetto State Dave locations.

Gullapalli owned a number of Marco’s Pizza restaurants in South Carolina.

“I am thrilled to bring Dave’s Hot Chicken to South Carolina,” Gullapalli said in the statement. “The Nashville Hot Chicken is already delicious on its own, but Dave takes it to another level that you can’t find anywhere else in the category, and I think it will be a hit in the area. Not only is the food fantastic, but the leadership supporting the brand is impeccable, and these attractive factors have prepared me well for successful operations.

The exact locations for Dave’s Hot Chicken in South Carolina are still being sought, and the restaurant team is looking for “2,000 to 2,700 square foot end caps and stand-alone locations, with or without drive-thru capability,” according to a communicated.

Dave’s Hot Chicken launched as a parking lot pop-up in 2017 and grew rapidly, with restaurants across the country. There are more than 60 locations in North America, with another 700 units engaged since franchise opportunities increased in 2019.

The press release said Dave’s offers “hot chicken tenders and sliders, with spice levels ranging from ‘No Spice’ to ‘Reaper'”, plus sides including homemade kale salad, creamy mac and cheese and crispy fries or cheese fries.

Vice President of Franchise Development for Dave’s Hot Chicken Shannon Swenson said Gullapalli was the right person to bring Dave’s to the Palmetto State.

“Whenever we enter a new state, we need to be aware that we are partnering with the right operator to make a great first impression,” Swenson said in the statement. “Kal is the perfect example of the operator we want to be first to market with. I’m thrilled he’s bringing our one-of-a-kind chicken concept to South Carolina and creating legions of new Dave’s Hot Chicken fans.

This story was originally published July 13, 2022 8:00 a.m.

Chris Trainor is a retail reporter for The State and has worked for newspapers in South Carolina for more than 17 years, including previous stops at the (Greenwood) Index-Journal and the (Columbia) Free Times. He is the recipient of numerous awards from the South Carolina Press Association, including honors in column writing, government reporting, profile writing, food writing, election coverage, and more.

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