Specializing in Hot Chicken and cold drinks, Party Fowl offers diners a one-of-a-kind experience in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee. The menu, created by executive chef Bart Pickens, includes a number of hot chicken dishes with heat levels ranging from mild to “Poultrygeist,” as well as creative spins on the classics. Party Fowl offers more than 20 local beers on draft, and is home to a craft cocktail program created by consulting beverage directors Freddy Schwenk and Matt Buttel of Nashville Ice Lab. With 13 large-screen TVs and a stage for live music performances, entertainment abounds at the hot chicken restaurant. Owners Austin Smith and Nick Jacobson opened the restaurant with the hopes of bringing together the best of Nashville under one roof by combining great food, great drinks and great music.
Meet the Team
Austin Smith – Founder/Owner
A Tennessee native, Austin Smith is no stranger to Southern comfort food. Born in Memphis and raised in Nashville where his parents worked in the music industry, Smith is an expert on southern-style hot chicken, a Nashville staple.
After spending a decade in the restaurant industry, holding a number of positions from busser to manager, Austin earned a degree in political science from Lipscomb University. Shortly upon graduation, Austin recognized his true calling in the restaurant world and left politics behind.
Austin went on to work at The Grape and 360 Wine Bar Bistro with now-partner Nick Jacobson before becoming a wine and spirit distributer. It was the latter position that fueled his desire to open his own restaurant in 2014.
Austin currently resides in Hermitage, Tennessee, with his wife, Amanda, their children Harper Anne, Ellie Kate and Gary Wayne II. In his free time, he enjoys spending time on the water at his property on the Duck River in Bucksnort, Tennessee. He is also an avid softball player, a hobby that ultimately brought together his dream – his first team became the namesake for Party Fowl.
Nick Jacobson – Owner/Partner
Nashville native Nick Jacobson is co-owner and partner of hot chicken restaurant, Party Fowl.
After pursuing career paths in law and venture capitalism, Jacobson quickly realized his passion lay in the restaurant industry when he began working as an investor in The Grape, a franchised wine bar concept out of Atlanta. After a few years, he broke away from the franchise and became independent, opening 360 Bistro guided by his love of wine. Jacobson has successfully run the restaurant for 11 years now as owner and wine director, and brings his experience and passion for the industry to his newest venture, Party Fowl.
It was at 360 Bistro where Jacobson met his partner, Austin Smith, who had been toying with the idea of opening Nashville’s first full-service hot chicken restaurant. The pair opened Party Fowl in 2014, and continue to work together on the project.
He currently resides in Brentwood, Tennessee, with his wife, Ashley, and their children Cameron and Avery. In his free time, Nick enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and enjoying the great outdoors while skiing, running, and scuba diving.
Bart Pickens – Executive Chef
With more than 33 years of experience in the culinary industry, it’s no surprise that Bart Pickens, Executive Chef of Party Fowl in Nashville, Tennessee, is a driving force in the hot chicken restaurant’s successes.
Pickens was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, before attending the University of Southwestern Louisiana where he pursued his degree in commercial and fine art. His first job in the industry was at the famous Copeland’s of New Orleans, and from there chef Pickens worked Destin, Florida in the mid-1980s at resorts, and then on to casinos and more along the Gulf Coast. In 2003, the Louisiana chef moved to Hilton Head, South Carolina, to be closer to his son, Bubba, who joined the Marines and was stationed on Parris Island. He worked at Redfish Restaurant and Wexford Plantation in HHI before going to South Florida to hone his craft before making his way to Nashville.
In 2006, chef Pickens joined the team at Nashville hospitality group, TOMKATS Catering. He worked as the executive chef at the Country Music Hall of Fame, corporate chef over TOMKAT Catering, The Loveless Café event catering, Saffire and the kitchen at Fontanel Nashville, and assisted with specialty VIP catering events such as Bonaroo.
Chef Pickens has been a part of the Party Fowl team since it’s opening, and his menu includes a number of hot chicken dishes with heat levels ranging from mild to “Poultrygeist,” as well as creative spins on the classics. His technique-driven dishes focus on traditional recipes with a twist.
The New Orleans native now calls Hendersonville, Tennessee, “home,” where he lives with his wife, Patti, and two West Highland Terriers named Coney and Chili.