Spivey’s Chicken returns home

A small business sits on Main Street. While the facility is not big, the tradition it carries is.The business, Spivey’s Chicken, is not exactly new. Spivey’s Chicken first opened in Grambling in 1969, when a two-piece cost 60 cents, attracting customers all day.

“It was the most popular chicken place around,” said Karl Norman, a professor at GSU. “Students could walk right to it. It was affordable.”

Spivey’s started in 1972, and became a staple in the Grambling community. Spivey’s eventually expanded into other cities in the area, such as Jonesboro in 1977, Monroe in 1982, and Arcadia in 1991.

Spivey’s became the first African-American run chicken joint in most of these areas.

Spivey’s legacy came to a halt when a fire destroyed the main shop in Grambling. Spivey’s reopened in 1999, but closed again due to family-related issues.

Now, Spivey’s is open again, rebuilding its legacy and becoming a staple in the community again.

“It was a popular place and it’s popular again,” said Norman. “It’s still affordable…fits the students’ budgets.”

Norman noted that the quality of Spivey’s hasn’t diminished.

“It seems to be the same,” he said. “He has a special way of cooking it, and he hasn’t lost it.”

While the cooking is the same, the menu isn’t. Now, other food items – such as peach cobbler, hamburgers, gizzards, and others – are available with the Spivey’s touch.

Leon Smith, a Spivey’s customer, remembers when Spivey’s used to sell “nothing but chicken,” and he doesn’t mind the added items to the menu.

“He has a good business,” said the 1973 GSU graduate, “and I’m glad he opened back up.”

Yvonne Dunn remembers when she used to be a Spivey’s regular.

“It was delicious when I was in school,” she said.

“It’s very good and well seasoned. We enjoyed it for our late night snacks.”

Typing in “Spivey’s Chicken” in Google led to some memories of those late night snacks.

As the legacy of Spivey’s grows, there is one thing for certain with owner Willie Spivey.

“Spivey’s is Grambling,” Spivey said. “We are Grambling.