Bolton's founder shares concerns for future of restaurant as LLC buys property

Dollye Matthews
Posted at 6:14 PM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 19:27:14-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's one of the most famous names in Nashville hot chicken, but with a new sale of the property it stands on, many wonder what will happen to Bolton's.

For years, people from all over have come to the original Bolton's location to taste for themselves if that chicken's as hot as people say. Bolton and Dollye Matthews opened the place on Main Street in 1999. Bolton died last year, and though the Main Street location is run by someone else today, Dollye remains very involved while also running a second Bolton's in Antioch.

Dollye's concerned after an LLC bought the Main Street property where the original Bolton's stands.

"I'm going to be honest, my stomach dropped," Matthews said. "I know things change, but that's been there for 20-something years."

Matthews said they're still working out a contract with the LLC, but she is worried about what the cost of rent could be.

"We're in negotiations but to pay $8- or $9,000 a month? That's just not going to work," she said.

Representatives for the LLC who now own the property could not be reached by news time.

Matthews said if nothing can be worked out with them, the Main Street Bolton's will move elsewhere. She added her husband would have wanted it to stay right where it is now.

"His goal out of his mouth was, 'don't change my food, extend my legacy, keep Bolton's the same,'" said Matthews said. "For it to have to move would be detrimental to my memories, my husband's legacy and I hope something can be worked out. I'm a woman on a mission. I'm determined. I got my dukes up, and I'm ready to fight for his legacy."