clock menu more-arrow no yes
Walls of the Dave’s Hot Chicken location in Tualatin include colorful murals, as if the wood is peeling away to reveal red, blue, and yellow bursts. The interior space also includes a number of tables and red stools, with a walk-up counter.
The interior of Oregon’s first Dave’s Hot Chicken location, which opens Friday, April 30
Dave’s Hot Chicken / Official

Filed under:

Inside Oregon’s First Dave’s Hot Chicken Location, Open April 30

The Los-Angeles-born hot chicken brand, which started in a parking lot, will open five more locations in the greater Portland area

The California-born hot chicken chain Dave’s continues its massive national expansion efforts this week, opening its first Oregon location in Tualatin April 30. Dave’s Hot Chicken, which started as a late-night hot chicken stand in East Hollywood, has flown far from its parking lot roots: The shop has opened locations everywhere from Canada to San Diego, and it’s not slowing down. The company plans to open at least five locations in the greater Portland area within the next few years.

Back in 2017, Arman Oganesyan, David Kopushyan, Tommy Rubenyan, and Gary Rubenyan set up a tent on Hollywood Boulevard and started frying tenders. They’d toss the tenders in a mixing bowl full of spices, slap them on white bread, and pass them out in takeout containers, which Angelenos would eat sitting at tablecloth-lined folding tables set up feet from the fryer. Within a matter of months, the group had its first brick-and-mortar location; almost four years after that first pop-up, Dave’s operates 11 locations, with its Oregon locale clocking in as number 12.

The company’s first Oregon location, a standalone spot at 7715 SW Nyberg Street, will serve the dishes served at that initial pop-up: Brined, fried chicken tenders, tossed in a spice blend, in one of seven distinct spice levels — as opposed to just adding more of one particular chile for each spice level, the company makes distinct spice blends for each level. The restaurant’s reaper blend, the highest spice level, requires a signed waiver from those who want to try it. Those tenders come with pickles and white bread, as well as a few sides: Mac and cheese, the pop-up’s original kale slaw, fries with or without a molten layer of cheese sauce. The tenders now come in sliders, as well, which come with pickles and slaw as well as a typical special sauce.

As is typical for other Dave’s locations, the interiors of the Portland space are lined with murals distinct to this location, designed by Splatterhaus and Dehmq; the murals range from the abstract to a depiction of Tilikum Crossing, with wood paneling and brick-red stools for the restaurant’s few indoor tables. Indoor dining will not be on the table during its opening week, however; the company is planning to start with patio seating and takeout, eventually adding in indoor dining and delivery options.

Also coming down the line: More Dave’s locations. The chain already has a second location lined up at Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton, near the newly opened Shake Shack; that location won’t open until the fall of 2021. The company is eyeing other locations to open in 2022, as well.

The brand’s first Oregon restaurant will open Friday, April 30 at 11 a.m., closing at midnight.

Dave’s Hot Chicken, a standalone building with a parking lot, is a single level with glass windows and multiple entrances. The sign is backlit with red.
The exterior of Dave’s Hot Chicken in Tualatin. This will be the state’s first location, though at least five restaurants are set to open in the coming years.
Dave’s Hot Chicken / Official

The ceiling of the new Dave’s Hot Chicken location is meant to feel pseudo-galactic, with colors and star-like clusters of art. Along the sides of the walls are green and yellow patterns meant to mimic the natural spaces within Oregon.
The ceiling and walls of the new location are lined with murals by the design studio Splatterhaus.
Dave’s Hot Chicken / Official
The corner of Dave’s Hot Chicken has one panel of black and white scribbles that make up an illustration of a bridge, with Mt. Hood lurking in the background. On the other side, the wall is made up of three layers of illustrated trees.
One corner of the Dave’s Hot Chicken location in Tualatin seems to be an homage to Portland, with lines of trees and a depiction of Tilikum Crossing.
Dave’s Hot Chicken / Official

Dave’s Hot Chicken [Official]
A California Hot Chicken Sensation Is Opening a Storefront in Tualatin [EPDX]
East Hollywood’s New Late-Night Hot Chicken Stand Might Blow Your Mind [ELA]

Portland Restaurant Openings

Now Open Downtown, the New Poboyz Cajun-Creole Restaurant Wants to Honor Louisiana Legends

One Killed, Two Others Injured in a Shooting at a Northwest Portland Pizzeria and Bar

AM Intel

Portland Named the Best Coffee City in America

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater Portland newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world