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Prolific restaurateur opening Hot Cluckers

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A local entrepreneur is bringing Southern fare to the Ozarks through an original restaurant concept offering fried chicken and catfish.

It’s Hot Cluckers, y’all.

Michael Felts, the founder of BYOPizza and owner of the soon-to-open Taco Habitat LLC and Bourbon and Beale LLC, announced the restaurant coming to central Springfield on his Facebook page June 28.

“Construction is fully underway and opening soon!” Felts wrote. “Jennifer Obert and I are excited to bring REAL Nashville Hot Chicken and Southern Fried Catfish! (we’ll have fried chicken without the heat as well).”

Yesterday, the Hot Cluckers sign went up at 1450 E. Sunshine St., according to the restaurant’s newly launched Facebook page. Hot Cluckers will occupy the former home of The Big Slice LLC, which moved two doors down in Allan Center.

The new concept won’t be the only Midwest restaurant featuring “Cluckers” in the name. There’s a Cluckers chicken chain in Indiana and two Mother Cluckers Kitchen eateries in Illinois.

The new restaurant was registered with the Missouri secretary of state in late February as Hot Clucker’s LLC by Obert.

Felts was not available for comment this morning, but responded via text message that he’s in Charlotte, North Carolina, today in meetings for Taco Habitat. 

The coming taco shops at Glenstone Marketplace, 3333 S. Glenstone Ave. and in Branson, feature a modular construction involving shipping containers. Felts previously told Springfield Business Journal the restaurants would open in August.

Past SBJ reporting indicated that Boxman Studios would design and build the restaurants off-site in North Carolina and deliver them to Felts’ restaurant sites

Another addition to Felts’ resume is Boubon and Beale. It's a Cajun and barbecue restaurant planned at the former Newk’s Eatery at 2639 S. Glenstone Ave. Felts anticipated a late summer opening when interviewed by SBJ in May.

Felts built his career in the film, television and music industries before shifting to the restaurant business, according to past SBJ reporting. Felts directed a film dubbed, “Yorktown,” in 2011, and said he’s still involved in the business, mostly in writing and recording music.

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