Every self-respecting Southeastern city needs an outstanding barbecue joint and a gratifying chicken shack. Jim Noble, the restaurateur behind some of Charlotte’s most popular restaurants, including Rooster’s, King’s Kitchen, and Copain, has given the Queen City both. Noble hit Charlotte with a one-two punch, opening the barbecue destination Noble Smoke in the summer of 2019 and chicken heaven Bossy Beulah’s just months later.
Noble’s great aunt Beulah, who knew her way around a chicken sandwich, is the namesake for his newest venture. He borrowed the recipe his family has used for generations (mastered by Beulah). Then he spent two years tweaking and perfecting it, as well as brainstorming the menu for and character of Bossy Beulah’s.
The menu’s main attraction, The Beaut, features a hunk of Joyce Farms (Winston-Salem, NC) chicken dipped in buttermilk, hand-breaded, and sprinkled with a dash of seasoning. Topped with lots and lots of housemade pickles, offering an irresistible crunch, and a smear of Duke’s mayonnaise, this bird is nestled between two halves of a toasted Copain potato bun. The Beaut, served in a foil wrap, hits that no-nonsense, soul food spot. So do Bossy’s other offerings, including The Cheesy Beaut, Bossy Bites (hand-cut, hand-breaded nibbles of chicken breast) and simple sides like salad, slaw, and fries.
In its earliest form, this chicken sammie debuted at King’s Kitchen, but Noble knew its home was elsewhere. He envisioned a modest “chicken shack,” with fast casual service, counter seating, and an open kitchen. He teamed up with The Johnson Studio to make it happen. The design team nailed it: Bossy Buelah’s feels like your favorite diner. There are no frills, just low key vibes, good food, and good people. Enjoy your meal on the patio. Or mosey over to the beer garden that separates Bossy Beulah’s from Noble Smoke on Freedom Drive.
It’s About the People
Both Bossy Beulah’s and Noble Smoke – and the beer garden that divides them – attracts all kinds of folk. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a crispy chicken sandwich or a pile of fall-off-the-bone brisket? There’s a reason why these foods have endured throughout generations. Of course, delicious food alone won’t deliver a successful restaurant. The people on both sides of the counter are just as important. This corner of Freedom Drive is a place of congregation, attracting a cross section of socio-economic profiles and races brought to the same space by good food. “People are the most important thing in this business,” asserts Noble. “A customer can love the food, but if the people aren’t nice or friendly, then I don’t care how good the food is, the customer isn’t coming back.”
Jim Noble has a knack for bringing customers back to his restaurants. He delivers the perfect storm of fresh ingredients, curated menus, thoughtfully designed ambience, and irresistible people. And he does it over and over and over again. In fact, keep an eye trained on Noble in 2020. This year he’ll expand Rooster’s to other cities in the Southeast, get cracking on a new project on Selwyn Avenue, and set to work opening more Bossy Beulah’s locations, to the delight of, well, everyone.
More pics from Bossy’s