Coon Chicken Inn

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Coon Chicken Inn
IndustryRestaurant
Founded1925; 97 years ago (1925) in Salt Lake City
Defunct1957; 65 years ago (1957)
FateClosure due to change in popular standards concerning racial intolerance
Number of locations
3 at height (1931–1947)
Key people
Maxon Lester Graham
Productsfried chicken

Coon Chicken Inn was an American chain of three restaurants that was founded by Maxon Lester Graham and Adelaide Burt in 1925,[1] which prospered until the late 1950s. The restaurant's name contained the word Coon, considered a racial slur, and the trademarks and entrances of the restaurants were designed to look like a smiling caricature of an African-American porter. The smiling capped porter head also appeared on menus, dishes, and promotional items. Due to changes in popular culture and the general consideration of being culturally and racially offensive, the chain closed in 1957.[2]

The first Coon Chicken Inn was opened in suburban Salt Lake City, Utah in 1925. In 1929, another restaurant was opened in then-suburban Lake City, Seattle,[3] and a third was opened in the Hollywood District of Portland, Oregon, in 1931. A fourth location was advertised but never opened in Spokane, Washington. Later, a cabaret, orchestra, and catering were added to the Seattle and Salt Lake restaurants.[4] The Portland location at 5474 NE Sandy Blvd. closed in 1949 and was converted into another restaurant, and is currently the location of Clyde's Prime Rib.[5] The Seattle location also closed in 1949 and is no longer standing.[6] That address at 8500 Lake City Way is now occupied by The Growler Guys restaurant.[6] The Salt Lake City location at 2960 S. (sometimes listed as 2950 S.) Highland Drive closed in 1957 and is now the site of a furniture store.[7]

Popular culture[edit]

An antique promotional poster for Coon Chicken Inn featured as a plot device in the 2001 black comedy film Ghost World.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Coon Chicken Inn - The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed". Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  2. ^ "The History of Coon Chicken Inn": Ferris State University, Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia Retrieved: 15 June 2020
  3. ^ "Coon Chicken Inn". Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Jim Crow Museum: Coon Chicken Inn". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
  5. ^ Jab, The (August 27, 2015). "Le Continental - Clyde's Prime Rib, Portland, Oregon".
  6. ^ a b "Coon Chicken Inn (Seattle)". www.historylink.org.
  7. ^ McFarland, Sheena (January 13, 2015). "Whatever happened to … the chicken restaurant with the racially charged name?". The Salt Lake Tribune.