Hot, spicy chicken restaurant to open at The Avenue


Joella's Hot Chicken plans to hire between 70 and 80 employees.

Courtesy of Joella's Hot Chicken

If you like your chicken hot and spicy, then you might want to check out the new Joella’s Hot Chicken restaurant coming to Viera.

The restaurant, which is opening later this summer or early fall in the old Pollo Tropical location at The Avenue Viera, 6531 Lake Andrew Drive, is one of three planned to open in Florida. The other two locations are in the Tampa area — Largo and Seminole.

Christina Happel, the regional vice president of operations for Joella's Hot Chicken, said the deciding factor for opening a restaurant in Viera was the company’s ability to reuse the old Pollo Tropical restaurant.

“The buildings are modeled to what we can do,” she said. “We are a family-oriented restaurant. We wanted to be located in an urbanized area and Viera was the perfect fit.”

Owned and operated by the Schulte Restaurant Group, Joella’s Hot Chicken is a Louisville, Kentucky-based fast, casual restaurant serving hot chicken, southern-style, and made-from-scratch sides.

According to the restaurant’s web site — — Joella’s menu features 100 percent, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, all-natural chicken that is brined and spiced with six unique heat levels: Traditional Southern, Spiked Honey, Ella’s Fav, Tweener, Hot and Fire-In Da-Hole. Made-from-scratch southern sides include Creamy Mac and Cheese, Sweet Vinegar Slaw, Crispy Thin Fries, Kale Crunch Salad and desserts like Banana Puddin’.

Founded in 2015, the company currently has eight locations in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. It will have 17 by the end of the year, including expansions into Georgia and Florida.

Happel said the Viera restaurant will hire between 70 and 80 part-time and full-time employees. Of that number, 30 percent will be full-time employees, she said.

“We pride ourselves on offering all fresh, natural chicken with unique flavors and spices,” she said. “We also are very accommodating in meeting people’s dietary needs.”

Happel also explained that “Miss Joella” represents a typical Southern woman who loves to cook chicken with delicious spices for her family and friends. The restaurant also provides catering service for any group size.

“The food is high quality and reasonably priced,” she said. “We are always trying to meet the multiple needs of our customers.”

To celebrate the grand opening of the Viera restaurant, Happel said the restaurant will give out 100 free vouchers for “chicken for a year.”

For more information about the restaurant, go to