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Bossy Beaulah’s Chicken Shack: Home of Southern Comfort Food in Charlotte

Updated: Apr 16

Jim Noble has done it again with yet another restaurant creation. Located adjacent to his popular Noble Smoke on Freedom Drive, the restaurant was inspired by Jim’s Great Aunt, Beaulah, whom the family called Bossy. She was known by them to have elevated the southern fried chicken to an art form.

Noble has used Beaulah’s recipe to create a simple, no frills, fast-casual concept centered around her sandwich which they call The Beaut. It’s a fried Joyce Farms chicken breast with lots of pickles, Duke’s mayo, and a Copain bun. Joyce Farms is a 50 year old family-owned company, based in Winston-Salem, that specializes in providing top chefs and artisanal butchers with unique heritage breed meats and poultry that are raised using environmentally friendly regenerative farming practices in the Carolinas and Georgia. Copain is a bakery that is also part of Noble’s family of businesses.

But are you wondering why anyone would care what kind of mayonnaise is used on the sandwich? Well, if you grew up in the South, you might care. Mayonnaise is interesting. Made predominantly from oil and egg yolks, there are people who avoid it for heart-health reasons. Other people, however, not only love mayonnaise but prefer one brand over another. And for many Southerners, that brand would be Duke’s. Created in Greenville SC by Eugenia Duke in 1917, she began selling sandwiches with her tangy version of mayo to army canteens during WWI. A year later, Mrs. Duke had sold 11,000 sandwiches and her mayonnaise was being bottled and sold in stores. This eventually led her to abandon sandwich-making entirely. When I was growing up, the only mayonnaise in our refrigerator was Duke’s. And to this day, the only brand that my brother will eat is Duke’s. Some people feel as strongly about their mayonnaise brand as do those who would only buy a certain brand of pickup truck or drink a certain brand of soda.

But enough about mayonnaise. There’s a lot to like about Bossy Beaulah’s. The menu is quite simple with just 4 entrees. My favorite entree is The Beaut. Lightly-coated and perfectly fried, the chicken almost melts in your mouth. The freshly baked bun, along with the pickles and mayonnaise, perfectly complements the chicken as well. If you have never been, try the sandwich before going for the other entrees. In addition to soft drinks, you can choose from a small selection of wine and local beers including the Noble Toast Lager which is quite good.

The service is speedy. On our most recent visit, our food came out just as we were walking to our seats. Seating and parking are limited. But you can also park in Noble Smoke’s spacious lot next door. And coming soon are two more locations: one in SouthEnd and the other near downtown Fort Mill.

I believe that many of us infrequently venture beyond 15-20 minutes of our homes. But Charlotte has SO many great places to eat. Some may take a longer to get to, but they are oh so worth it. Bossy’s is one of those places. Do yourself a favor and head over to West End or South End to eat one of Aunt Beaulah’s delicious chicken sandwiches.

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