“We’ve been amazed  by the response to Joella’s,” Tony Palombino said in a phone interview. “It’s been terrific, and given us a lot of encouragement to open a second restaurant.”

That second Joella’s Hot Chicken will be in Middletown, at a site that Palombino can’t reveal just yet. He is shooting for a mid-January 2016 opening, to give the East End a chance to sample Nashville-style spicy chicken.

Palombino explained that his chefs have come up with another level of spicy heat, because the jump from the lowest level – “Ella’s Fave,” which Palombino said gives “a burst of flavor and little heat” – to the “hot” level was too great a change. The new level, called “Tweener,” tries to bridge that gap.

“The bravest eaters go for Fire in the Hole,” Palombino said. “That uses the Carolina Reaper pepper, which has just been declared the hottest pepper in the world.”

Palombino has the jump on several other proposed Nashville-style chicken restaurants that have been announced or proposed for around town, but have not yet opened.