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Photos: Inside peek at Dave’s Hot Chicken first-ever New York City location

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Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan just got a little hotter.

The street food turned nationwide sensation — Dave’s Hot Chicken — opened its first New York location on Aug. 19 at 944 8th Ave. in the west side neighborhood.

The franchise currently operates 77 locations in the United States and Canada, with over 700 other restaurants in development for the next five years. It was founded friends Dave Kopushyan, Arman Oganesyan, and brothers Tommy and Gary Rubenyan, who scrounged up $900 and started out selling hot chicken in a tiny stand set up in an East Hollywood parking lot in 2017.

Kopushyan, who trained as a chef in Thomas Keller’s Restaurant Group (The French Laundry), set out to perfect his chicken recipe, which he topped with his signature mix of spices, ranging from No Spice to “The Reaper.”

The hot chicken stand gained traction on social media and in the press, and soon enough the crowds began to flock. A year later, the friends had enough money to open a shop in a hip strip mall with décor by local street artists.

The menu still has only three options: Dave’s #1, Dave’s #2, and Dave’s #3.

Dave’s #1 is two chicken tenders with fries, sliced bread, pickles and a side of Dave’s sauce.

Dave’s #2 is two chicken sliders with fries, kale slaw, pickles, and Dave’s sauce.

Dave’s #3 is one tender and one slider with fries, which is served with kale slaw, pickles, Dave’s sauce, and sliced bread.

Customers can choose their heat level for any order, which includes no spice, lite mild, mild, medium, hot, extra hot, and reaper.

Dave’s Hot Chicken NYC is open seven days a week from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Follow Dave’s Hot Chicken on Instagram for updates.

Scroll down for photos of Dave’s Hot Chicken. Photos are by Veronica Lewis.

A close-up image of a Dave’s #3 meal. Photo courtesy of Jesse Lewis.

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