By DR JOY MARTINEZ, Staff Writer
“It is with heavy hearts that The Chicken Coop has decided to close our doors after 59 years of business…”
Brothers Talmadge and Pat Price introduced Charlotte residents to their secret family recipe for fried chicken in 1962, out of their humble Camden Road take-out joint that boldly embraced all customers.
In 2008 a Gourmet magazine review described Price’s with this praise: “It’s the best in North Carolina, maybe the best in the South —and therefore, the best anywhere.”
“That’s my joint,” actor and singer Lenny Kravitz said of Price’s, during a 2012 interview with the Observer. He played Katniss Everdeen’s stylist in “The Hunger Games,” which was filmed in Charlotte and other parts of North Carolina. Though he tries to eat “very healthy and organic,” Kravitz said he has to “get country every now and again.”
”We serve two kinds of people — Ladies and Gentleman,” read a policy posted on the wall of the restaurant, which in recent years weathered the dizzying pace of growth and development in South End.
Price’s Chicken Coop joins a list of locally-owned, small businesses that have closed their doors in Charlotte’s Southend neighborhood.
Increasingly the area has experienced the development of high-rise buildings featuring new multi-story residences, retail, and franchise establishments.
According to the restaurant’s Facebook page, the closing is “due to the labor shortage, rising food costs, food quality and another coin shortage.”
Through the years, the no-frills, cash-only carryout restaurant has popped up on all sorts of “favorites” lists, including once being named among places with the “most life-changing fried chicken in America” by Esquire.
It wasn’t uncommon to spot celebrities in line such as comedian Jay Leno when he was visiting Charlotte.
Price’s will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Saturday.