- Pioneer Chicken
Pioneer Chicken was originally a
Southern California fast-food restaurantspecializing in chicken, which operated in the western United States. The chain is now largely defunct in the United States, although a few franchises still exist in California; one in Bell Gardensand four in various parts of Los Angeles: Silver Lake, Boyle Heights, Miracle Mileand Echo Park(the chain's original restaurant). During the 1980s, Los Angeles Lakersannouncer Chick Hearnand former football great O.J. Simpsonused to advertisefor the restaurant.
It was named after Pioneer Market, a now-defunct small chain of supermarkets in Los Angeles. The original location in Echo Park is located next to Pioneer Market's original store (now a
Walgreen'sPharmacy) on Echo Park Avenue and Sunset Boulevard. Due to considerable redevelopment activity in the neighborhood caused by gentrification, the long-term future of this restaurant is in doubt, although it continues to operate as of October 2007. Fact|date=August 2007
Today Pioneer Chicken operates in
Chinaunder the name "California Chicken" because the Chinese there tend to pronounce "Pioneer" in a way which is socially undesirable in Chinese society.Fact|date=August 2007 The chicken is still prepared with the original recipe.
As of 2002, the Pioneer Chicken located on Olympic Blvd. had become the cite web |url=http://www.guyselga.com/?p=24 |title=official restaurant of the
Electronic Entertainment Expo(or E3) catering to media and game industry moguls alike as they flock to Los Angeles yearly.
As of March 2007, the original owner of the Pioneer Chicken on Olympic Blvd is handing the management to his niece Irene. This location now bags its to go orders in the bags with the original Pioneer Chicken logo until their paper bag supplies last. They will gladly give you an unused bag if you want one as a collector's copy.
Bell GardensM-Su: 1100-21456323 Florence Ave (at Garfield)Bell Gardens, CA 90201-4731(562) 927-9135
Boyle HeightsM-Su: 1000-2100904 S Soto St(at Whitter)Los Angeles, CA 90023-1323(323) 262-4562
Echo ParkM-Sa: 0900-2300Su: 0900-22001321 Echo Park Ave(at Sunset)Los Angeles, CA 90026-3317(213) 481-1232
Miracle Mile (Serves chicken in the original fried recipe)M-Th 1000-2100Fr-Sa 1000-2000Su: 1100-1700 (Closed every first Sunday of the month)5970 West Olympic Blvd(at San Vincente)Los Angeles, CA 90036-4610(323) 954-0454
Silver Lake (Serves chicken in the original fried recipe & flame-broiled)M-Su: 0800-00004376 West Sunset Blvd(at Fountain)Los Angeles, CA 90029-2155(323) 663-2441
References in Popular Culture
It is mentioned in the song "Magic Chicken" by the
Aquabats. It is also referenced in Warren Zevon's "Carmelita".
In the film "
Fast Times at Ridgemont High", a Pioneer Chicken restaurant, including its familiar covered wagon logo, can be seen. It is visible out a window of the All-American Burger when Brad Hamilton ( Judge Reinhold) is being fired by his boss Dennis Taylor for threatening to kick 100% of a customer's ass.
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