James Thornton Prince was a well-known man in Nashville, Tennessee, in the early 1940s. He loved fried chicken and was quite the ladies man. The story of how Prince’s Hot Chicken got its beginnings might be anecdotal, but one of Prince’s steady girlfriends was angry that he had taken another girl out on the town. Rather than being angry, she decided to get even and made a big pan of fried chicken, overloaded with red chili powder. Prince was not upset or angry, in fact, he asked for more and asked about her recipe.
The first Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack was called the Bar=B-Que Chicken Shack. It moved several times until it ended up near the Grand Ol’ Opry. Customers would come to the chicken shack after each performance. The company is now owned and operated by Thornton Prince’s great-nephew, Andre Prince Jeffries.
The company has two locations in Nashville and in October of 2019, it opened a new location in the Nashville airport. The Travel Channel listed the restaurant chain as the Best Place to Get Hot Chicken in 2013.
Headquarters are still located in Nashville, Tennessee.