Nashville-Inspired Hot Chicken Restaurant Set for S. Fla. Ave.

A quick-service, Nashville-inspired hot chicken restaurant is being readied to open in a former Starbucks location at the corner of south Florida Avenue and Beacon Road.

Founder Jeremy Brumley said he wants to open LoveBird: Almost Famous Chicken before the end of the year, and hopefully before Thanksgiving.

“Everything’s ready to go; we’re just really waiting on permits and the cosmetic remodel,” Brumley said.

A 46-year-old graduate of Mulberry High School and Florida Southern College, Brumley grew up in Lakeland and started his entrepreneurial journey here in the 90s.

Brumley opened Woodpecker Records and later on, launched a “rock-n-roll” maternity clothing line with his wife, Leah. He went on to work for Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. for nearly 10 years where he worked with Outback Steakhouse and Bonefish Grill.

Brumley transitioned to work at PDQ and moved up the chain of command to Chief Operating Officer, where he oversaw development through 12 states and 84 locations.

After working in the restaurant industry for over 17 years, Brumley came up with the concept for LoveBird after many family trips to Nashville and became inspired to bring the “hot chicken scene” to his hometown. 

“What I can offer Lakeland is another place that Lakelanders are proud of and hopefully we are another one of those establishments that people brag about,” Brumley said. “It’s been exciting to watch the town evolve.”

The menu for LoveBird will feature hot chicken plates, different types of chicken sandwiches (including classic crispy chicken, chicken parmesan, barbeque, and hot honey) and three freshly made salads. “Everything will be made in-house,” Brumley said.  

LoveBird won’t be limited to just fried chicken; it will also have citrus-grilled chicken available. 

“It offers a tremendous amount of value for the money and I think that’s important right now,” Brumley said regarding the cost of menu items.

Meal options will be an average of $9 for a chicken plate with the choice of two sides, bread, a pickle and a beverage. Sandwiches start at $4 and salads at $8.

Brumley acknowledges that parking is limited at the restaurant, which occupies a building that started out as a gas station. But he says that it works with their business model since they’ll rely mostly on drive-thru, to-go, online, third-party delivery and catering.

“The food will be better than the parking, I guarantee,” Brumley said. “The business model is set for 70 to 80 percent of our revenue to be off-premise.” 

There are plans to eventually expand LoveBird outside of Lakeland, but Brumley is committed to making sure the first location is correct before moving forward with any expansion ideas. 

“One of the things that I envisioned was always to be proud that the first one was in Lakeland,” Brumley said.

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