CEO Joss Jenner-Leuthart first saw Belles Hot Chicken’s new Adelaide site in October 2021. “It’s taken us almost three years to turn what was a really cool idea into an actual restaurant,” Jenner-Leuthart tells Broadsheet, “and it’s pretty special.”

For Jenner-Leuthart, the new Belle’s spot is bolstered by a holy trinity of location, design and damn-good fried chicken. “We’re physically close to what I consider to be the absolute OG status operators. Leigh Street Wine Room, Sunny’s Pizza, 1000 Island, when it was there. It was so important for Belles to be amongst other operators of a similar ethos.”

The venue combines two spaces on the corners of Hindley and Gresham streets that were formerly a convenience store and “a dodgy massage parlour”. The revamped space has 24 alfresco seats along Grisham Street and space for another 85 inside. The interior “feels familiar and a little bit nostalgic”. It’s slightly ’60s with chequered lino, neon chrome, vintage lights and campy yellow laminate.

Never miss an Adelaide moment. Make sure you're subscribed to our newsletter today.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

“We’re uber passionate about creating spaces that feel like they’ve been there forever … you can walk into a Belles and sort of feel at ease,” Jenner-Leuthart said.

If you’ve experienced Belles in its original Melbourne locations or in its Sydney venues, you’ll be familiar with the menu. But if you’re new to the Belles oeuvre, Jenner-Leuthard says, “Our absolute focus and passion is fried chicken … [our] philosophy for the last 10 years is that we want to do the best fried chicken in Australia.” There’s everything from buckets of bird to burgers, chicken sandwiches and American diner-style sides.

A “hot and happy hour” offers Belles signature “big wings” for $2 and house draught for $5.

Beyond happy hour the diner’s bold beverage program involves almost 50 spirits. Its house beer is brewed with Pirate Life, which will have a rotating tap for its latest drops). There are also incredibly bougie picks including Dom Perignon and Louis Roederer Cristal champagne.

Merilin Nogu, who ran the Belles Sydney outfit for many years, is headed south to set up the Adelaide shop.

The team is introducing themselves to the local audience with 50 per cent back in vouchers for all bookings in June, and two-for-one sandwiches over opening weekend.

Belles Hot chicken is opening at 12 Hindley Street, Adelaide City on Friday 14 June.