New concept to replace Cox’s Hot Chicken in New Albany

Cox's Hot Chicken Jeffersonville
Cox’s Hot Chicken location in Jeffersonville will remain open. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

By JASON THOMAS | News and Tribune

For the second time in less than a year, a new restaurant concept will occupy a revered spot in downtown New Albany’s dining scene.

Boomtown Kitchen will replace Cox’s Hot Chicken at 110 E. Main St., becoming the third attempt to operate in a location dear to long-time residents’ culinary memories from the iconic Southside Inn cafeteria.

Big Four Burgers + Beer was the first to attempt to revive culinary aspirations at the spot, only to shut down in November 2018 after a four-year run. Cox’s Hot Chicken soon took over that same month, but abruptly closed after only about six months in business.

Now Boomtown Kitchen enters the scene, as owners Andrew and Michelle Collins, who revived the former The Levy bar in Jeffersonville with The Barrelhouse on Market, try their luck in New Albany.

Boomtown, which aims to open June 15, seeks to offer affordable dining options in an elegant setting, with customer service a top priority.

“I love New Albany. I love all the diverse cuisine, and I love the creativity,” said Andrew Collins, who has extensive restaurant management experience with Outback Steakhouse and Texas Roadhouse. “However, I feel like everyone does a spin on classic dishes. I want to bring you that classic dish.

“I feel like everything is so expensive and so extravagant. I want the good ole salt and pepper, perfectly seasoned, perfectly seared steak. That’s kind of our thing.”

Collins will lean on his experience and that of general manager Jeremy Vonsenden to deliver top-notch customer service.

“Our No. 1 thing with this place is service,” Collins said. “I come from the restaurant industry and my No. 1 thing is having an A List staff. It’s a very serious thing for me. First impressions are everything.”

Collins said he and his wife will also take cues from their reinvention of The Levy into a more upscale establishment in The Barrelhouse, which opened in December 2017.

“We saw a place that had a need,” he said. “We kind of look at every market like, what’s it missing? What’s the need, the niche, and we try to tackle that the best we can. To give the people what they want.”

To that end, Boomtown Kitchen will boast a more refined decor set-up than its predecessors.

“The front room is wide open, a little more Victorian, classy feel,” Collins said. “The bar area is a lot nicer. It’s just more elegant. A lot of changes inside with decor, just making it just a nicer place, sprucing it up.”

Collins promised a few “serious wow factors” in terms of decor, so stay tuned.

The smaller carry-out area next to the main facility will be a hand-dipped ice cream and coffee shop called Boomtown Creamery — a convenient location being right across the street from the Floyd County YMCA.

“I think next to the Y, having that early morning coffee option … and we’re also gong to specialize in dollar kid cones,” Collins said.

For Collins, who signed a lease for the building through 2023, Boomtown is all about listening to what people want.

“We are wanting to bring an affordable option,” he said, “of great quality.”

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