In a move sure to ruffle feathers, The Big Chicken will close for 12 weeks as owners remodel the iconic restaurant.
And this is no paltry move.
Crews will rip out the drywall to install weathered wood and brick and steel beams in the lobby. The tiling will change. A new sign reading “The BIG Chicken” will sit at 12 Cobb Parkway.
There will be a new patio and separate screened-in porch, both of which will total about 55 extra seats.
Kulp said the space hasn’t spread its wings in 20 years and was “an image we felt was a little tired.”
They consulted the city of Marietta throughout the process. “We were concerned about touching anything (in) our ability to grandfather in,” he said.
When asked what will change, Kulp said: “There’s not a lot that won’t.”
We know what you’re thinking. And don’t worry; the chicken will remain.
“We didn’t want to have a riot,” Kulp knowingly quipped.
The 56-foot-tall chicken was erected in 1963. In 1974, KFC took over and considered tearing down the bird structure after high winds damaged it in 1993. But the people squawked and convinced them to repair instead of it tear down.
“Not only is this the KFC, but this is our own brand itself,” Kulp said.
The project is part of an overhaul of all KFC locations the company owns in metro Atlanta, and they’ve done about 50 so far, Kulp said.
While most of the refreshed stores include a wall of KFC history, the new iconic store will have that and a wall of Big Chicken history.
“We’re really bringing forth that this is the Big Chicken, not KFC,” he said.
The store should re-open the second week of April.
Kulp said there will be a “pretty impactful event” in the form of a grand opening once the updated store is ready to hatch.