On our way to visit Harry Potter and the Mouse, I plotted some sites to break up our 9 hour drive from Knoxville to Orlando. As I was looking for something along I-75, I found a website called Roadside America which gave me a map of “oddities” along the route. I zeroed in on the Big Chicken in Marietta, Georgia and I felt the pull. It was 3.5 hours into the trip and a nice place for a break. We were not disappointed with our stop.
S.R. “Tubby” Davis built The Big Chicken for his eatery called Johnny Reb’s Chick, Chuck ‘N Shake in 1956. It was designed by Georgia Tech architecture student, Hubert Puckett, and built by Atlantic Steel. The structure is 56 feet tall and stands on Cobb Parkway, North. In 1966, Davis sold the restaurant to his brother who turned it into a KFC franchise in 1974. The restaurant began to show some wear and the Big Chicken sustained damage during a storm in 1993. KFC planned to tear it down, but the public protested. The Cobb County Government reported that pilots protested because they used the landmark as a guide to the Atlanta airport. The Big Chicken was rebuilt in 1994. The restaurant closed for $2,000,000 renovation in 2017. The Big Chicken stands loud and proud in the Georgia sun as a monument to fried chicken.
You can check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/theBIGChicken.
We pulled up and I immediately was in enamored by the Big Chicken. You can see it in this YouTube commercial:
We stood and took videos and watched its eyes roll and beak open and close. I believe this is called easily amused. We walked inside and were amazed at the interior. This, by far, is the nicest KFC restaurant we had ever seen. As you walk in, there is an homage to the Colonel in the form of a life-size statue. Around the corner, near the counter is a merchandise area. My favorite were the KFC socks. The display included hats, t-shirts, stuffed chickens, and a few other chachkies. Even the bathrooms were beautiful. The wall had a written transcript of the Colonel’s life. The main dining room had hanging lights that looks like a bucket and there is a celebrity wall. The original menu hangs there, too. We ordered drinks and I told the woman behind the counter how impressed we were with the place and how interesting we found it. Karla laughed and said it’s more upscale like a sit down restaurant and then gave us a brief history and tour of the place. She even mentioned that KFC is thinking about putting a second floor.
This was a great spot to stop and see something completely unusual. We all enjoyed it and I am so glad we stopped there. I give this place a thumb up as somewhere to visit along the way.