In a earth where it looks just about anyone has a choose on Nashville scorching chicken, Bolton Matthews was born with it in his blood.
On June 2, Matthews, owner of Bolton’s Spicy Chicken and Fish and direct descendant of Nashville incredibly hot hen forefather Bolton Polk, handed absent following a tricky-fought a few-yr battle with phase IV colon most cancers.
Named soon after his uncle, the late Bolton Polk (who started out as a staffer at Prince’s), Bolton and his wife Dollye Matthews operated Bolton’s Spicy Hen and Fish considering that 1997. They are utilizing Polk’s initial recipe for spicy fried chicken from when he opened up Columbo’s Hot Hen Shack on the East facet a long time back. The first restaurant shut just after the primary Bolton fell sick, but right before he passed, he shared his hot rooster recipe with his beloved nephew, and the rest, as considerably as Nashville’s best chicken goes, is their legacy.
In Might, the metropolis of Nashville identified Matthews in a general public ceremony for his lifelong perseverance to incredibly hot chicken even in the course of a sequence of heartbreaking personal and professional issues. The resolution recognized Matthews for his contributions to the tradition, financial system, improvement, and panache of the city of Nashville. The resolution emphasized Bolton Matthews’ effects on Nashville and the entire world. Bolton’s is 1 of Key Street’s oldest Black-owned firms and is identified by the Southern Foodways as a Nashville Meals Heritage Web-site. In 2020, Bolton’s East Nashville spot endured roof and drinking water damage following the twister, of class, the Matthews have also been affected by the coronavirus. Matthews has also been battling phase IV colon most cancers because 2018 (there is a GoFundme for his cure) and lost his mother before this calendar year ahead of he passed away on June 2, 2021.
Due to the fact his passing, Matthew’s wife and co-proprietor Dollye suggests the restaurant will be shut until eventually even further see.
Update: The funeral company for Bolton Leroy Matthews of Bolton’s Spicy Rooster & Fish is Saturday, June 12 at noon with visitation at 11:00 a.m. at Very first Church of Nazarene, positioned at 510 Woodland Avenue.
Beneath, a several of his friends reflect on his dying and what Matthews usually means to the food items landscape in Nashville.
Lamont Hurt (Hurts Scorching Chicken):
Sending my deepest condolences to Dollye at Bolton’s and the loved ones…with the decline of the legend, Mr.Bolton. I keep in mind my initially time seeing him “on the track” is what I connect with it (lo),l but I was energized to be buying at the similar time with the male himself. In an immediate, I recognized that I was most absolutely on the “right track fasho’” — I’ll under no circumstances overlook that focused pushed search on his confront nor his inspiring words and phrases: “Never permit your ft off the fuel, child.” As his spirit lives on, we’ll continue on to run that keep track of in honor of Mr. Bolton. May well Bolton’s proceed to reign as the “hottest chicken in town“ without end.
Sheldon Diggs (Souls United, which exists to feed and provide Nashville’s homeless neighborhood):
RIP to 1 of the largest legends in Nashville, TN, the hot hen funds of the earth, Bolton Matthews of Bolton’s Spicy Rooster & Fish. Phrases can’t categorical how significantly love he had presented via food in his town. Fully an inspiration to many which include myself. I have experienced the support of this black-owned profitable business enterprise as lengthy as I have been serving the homeless with Souls United. I would bump into Mr. Bolton in many cases in Restaurant Depot. We would speak and have a limited conversation as I would would like him properly in his journey. Most individuals realized about his health issues that has untimely led to his death. God bless him and every thing he touched. I enjoy you Dollye At Bolton’s. A great deal like to the spouse and children throughout this tricky time. Present your like to the spouse and children, absolutely everyone. They require it.
Kim Prince (Prince’s Hot Chicken):
Our hearts and prayers are with the Matthews family members. Relaxation is a sweet reward for a lifetime lived entire of like.
These days one particular of my heroes, Bolton Matthews, handed on. Offered all he had endured above the years as he was battling the ravages of cancer, I suppose it was a blessing to some diploma. But the sickness robbed us of a great man who, along with his lovely spouse, crafted a thriving small business that adjusted the culinary landscape of our town.
When I first started going to Bolton’s, I rarely noticed Mr. Bolton. He was generally in the back doing the job his ass off of the primary area, more than incredibly hot skillets in a shack in the back again. Almost never did he have to arrive up to the window to make an order, but from time to time he would poke his head out to see how absolutely everyone was undertaking if the foods was fantastic. He under no circumstances smiled significantly with his mouth, but definitely his eyes. My pal Stuart normally identified as him “Grumpy”, because he likes to select at folks. I do way too, and I inevitably commenced declaring to Mr. Bolton “Man, it is good right now, I just would like y’all could make it incredibly hot for once…” (I usually get the best that they have, for the reason that I am broken).
One day, right after conversing trash about how the food stuff was not spicy plenty of, Mr. Bolton lastly snapped and stated “Sparky, I’m gonna go back again there and mess you up. I gonna go and phase on it, I’m gonna put evil inside it. You will be taken care of…”. A though afterwards, in front of my mates, he handed me a brown paper sack that was by now starting off to become opaque with grease. He advised me to try to eat it, and then get back again to him about what “spicy” was all about. I was way too ashamed to try to eat it in front of my buddies, so I went again to do the job and ate it in my auto, and let me tell you, Bolton was not lying.