Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles
Roscoe's sign at the original Hollywood location
|Industry||Casual dining restaurant|
|Founded||Hollywood, California (1975 )|
|Number of locations||6|
|Area served||Los Angeles metropolitan area|
Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles is a Hollywood, California-based soul food restaurant chain founded by Herb Hudson, a Harlem native, in 1975. It is best known, as the name states, for serving chicken and waffles, both together and separately, although they do offer more traditional menu items as well.
Soon after it was opened, Hudson had friends in Motown and television such as Natalie Cole spread the word to other celebrities; Redd Foxx would tell his audience that he went there. The Los Angeles Times refers to Roscoe's as "such an L.A. institution that people don't even question the strange combo anymore." The New York Times refers to it as a "beloved soul food chain". The original location in Hollywood remains popular with celebrities.
In 2008, Roscoe's fielded a successful trademark infringement lawsuit against a "Rosscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles" that had opened in Chicago. The infringing store was forced to drop its infringing logo and name. A previous "Rosscoe's" had opened in New York City, but the LA-based chain opted to not sue that location because it had no plans to enter the market; however, Roscoe's did plan to enter the Chicago market.
In popular culture
The chain has been featured in popular media a number of times. The 1988 movie Tapeheads features a fake ad spot for the company. It was also mentioned in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown, the comedy film Rush Hour and Swingers. Ludacris mentioned the restaurant in the song "Call Up The Homies" from the album Theater of the Mind with the lyrics "Let's roll to Roscoe's and grab somethin′ to eat", while Californian band The Aquabats also mentioned Roscoe's alongside several other chicken restaurants in their 1997 song "Magic Chicken!". Snoop Dogg considers the restaurant one of his favorites: on his reality show, Snoop Dogg's Father Hood, he took David Beckham in 2007, and in 2008 he took Larry King on Larry King Live. The Notorious B.I.G. mentions Roscoe's in his song "Going Back to Cali", as does rapper Lil' Boosie in his song "California Love". The chain was also mentioned on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and in the 2007 novel Casanegra. Childish Gambino also mentions Roscoe's in several songs.
Roscoe's is alluded to repeatedly in the 2009 blaxploitation parody Black Dynamite, which features a gunfight set at a "Roscoe's Chili and Donuts". Roscoe, the owner, mentions that the business is not going well. A later scene has Roscoe screaming "That's it!" and running out of a diner when an overworked waitress complains that they have only waffles and chicken.
- Jonathan Kauffman, Breakfast or Dinner? A brief history of the "freakish" chicken-and-waffle combo, East Bay Express, August 4, 2004, Accessed September 22, 2009.
- Roscoe's House of Chicken 'N Waffles, Los Angeles Times, Accessed September 22, 2009.
- Jennifer Steinhauer, 36 Hours in Hollywood, The New York Times, January 13, 2008, Accessed September 22, 2009.
- Penn Jillette, My Favorite Weekend: Penn Jillette, Los Angeles Times, Accessed September 22, 2009.
- Jaime King, Jamie King's favorite restaurants, Los Angeles Times, Accessed September 22, 2009.
- Geoffrey Bennett, Roscoe's Wins Chicken and Waffle War, NPR.com, April 10, 2008, Accessed September 22, 2009.
- First Look: Chicago's Rosscoe's, Metromix, April 2, 2008, Accessed September 22, 2009.
- Charles Perry, Chicken and waffle feud, Los Angeles Times, April 9, 2008, Accessed September 22, 2009.
- Patrick Naugle, Tapeheads, DVD Verdict, April 10, 2001, Accessed September 22, 2009.
- Roger Ebert, Rush Hour, RogerEbert.com, September 18, 1998, Accessed September 22, 2009.
- Music and Lyrics to the song Call Up The Homies, Rhapsody.com, Accessed September 22, 2009.
- Angela Watercutter, Snoop Dogg Takes Larry King to Roscoe’s, wired.com, February 1, 2008, Accessed September 22, 2009."