Local restaurant mogul Tony Palombino will open his second Louisville-area Joella’s Hot Chicken restaurant today, June 1, at 13401 Shelbyville Rd. in Middletown. The new Joella’s joins the original at 3400 Frankfort Ave., which opened last year, and out-of-town outlets in Lexington and suburban Cincinnati.

After experimenting with Nashville style hot chicken (the heat created by layers of spice in the brine, in the breading and as a hot oil  addition after frying) at his Manny & Merle restaurant, 122 W. Main St., Palombino found the new dish so popular that he conceived of a new restaurant idea to highlight the chicken concept, which has suddenly been growing in popularity. Joella’s offers chicken in six levels of spicy heat.

Palombino will use the Middletown location as the center of a catering operation, as well as a sit-down and take-away restaurant. In celebration of the new suburban outlet, Joella’s will give away free chicken meals to the first 100 adults who come in onopening day.