Just Open: The Hot Chicken Project, Geelong

Nashville-style hot chicken at The Hot Chicken Project.
Nashville-style hot chicken at The Hot Chicken Project. Photo: Gail Thomas

The music's pumping, Aaron Turner is at the stoves in the open kitchen and the crowds are rolling in. Turner (ex Belle's Hot Chicken, Loam) has partnered with Kate and Nathan Veach (Bistro at Banks, Kilgour Street Grocer and Cafe) and Nathan Johnston of Cartel Coffee on the Nashville-style Hot Chicken Project.

It opened last week in Geelong's arts precinct, and already it's hotter than its hot chicken. It boasts a slick black-and-white interior with large spherical pendant lights above a commanding copper bar that runs the length of the room.

Pull up a stool, prop at the bar or the wall-mounted benches, and select from the concise wine list focusing on natural vintages from here and abroad, together with craft beers and Collingwood draught on tap.

Hot new opening: The Hot Chicken Project.
Hot new opening: The Hot Chicken Project. Photo: Gail Thomas

Choose: your chicken (wings, tenders or dark meat), the heat factor (from mild through "so damn hot" to "evil"), some sides (slaw or fries) and dipping sauce, then finish with a seasonal fruit hand pie.

Open Tue-Thu 3pm to 10pm; Fri-Sat noon to 10pm; Sun 11am to 4pm.

The Hot Chicken Project, 84a Little Malop Street, Geelong, 5221 9831