Restaurant News & Reviews

All three Lexington locations of this chicken restaurant chain abruptly close. But why?

Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken on Boardwalk in Lexington closed without warning on Nov. 7. A sign on the door said “closed for renovations” but employees were not told in advance.
Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken on Boardwalk in Lexington closed without warning on Nov. 7. A sign on the door said “closed for renovations” but employees were not told in advance. rhermens@herald-leader.com

Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken restaurants across Lexington apparently closed abruptly overnight.

Employees who showed up to work Thursday at the Lee’s Famous Recipe location on Boardwalk told LEX18.com they found doors locked and they were given no notice the restaurant would be closing. The station said it had received calls from employees at other locations about abrupt closures.

A sign on the door said “closed for renovation” but there was no information on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

No one was answering at the other locations in Lexington on Richmond Road and Versailles Road.

A spokeswoman for the chain directed calls to the franchise owner, Gary Whitney.

“We were saddened to learn that an operator of Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken has closed three stores in Lexington, Kentucky,” said Mary Read Askew in an email. “We regret the impact this will have on the employees and the Lexington community. These stores are independently owned and operated. For further information regarding the closings please contact the local operator, Gary Whitney for comment.

“Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken will continue to proudly operate in 12 states, including 37 stores across the state of Kentucky. These stores are not affected and will continue to serve our customers in these locations.”

There was no response to calls to Whitney Foods.

The Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken in Cynthiana was not affected by the closures even though that restaurant also is owned by Gary Whitney under a separate corporation, Whitney Foods of Cynthiana.

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Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken on Boardwalk in Lexington closed without warning on Nov. 7. A sign on the door said “closed for renovations” but employees were not told in advance. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com
Janet Patton covers restaurants, bars, food and bourbon for the Herald-Leader. She is an award-winning business reporter who also has covered agriculture, gambling, horses and hemp.
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