Stranger Things in Georgia: Marietta’s Iconic 56-Foot-Tall “Big Chicken” KFC

Georgia is home to many unique landmarks, but few are as quirky and beloved as the “Big Chicken” in Marietta. This 56-foot-tall structure, which houses a KFC restaurant, has become a local icon and a must-see attraction for both residents and visitors.

The “Big Chicken” was originally built in 1963 by S.R. “Tubby” Davis as a way to attract customers to his newly opened restaurant, Johnny Reb’s Chick-Chuck-‘N’-Shake. Standing tall at the busy intersection of Cobb Parkway and Roswell Road, the giant bird quickly became a landmark. In 1974, KFC purchased the property, and the Big Chicken was incorporated into its brand.

Over the years, the structure has seen various renovations to maintain its charm and functionality. The most significant renovation occurred in 1993 when the Big Chicken underwent a major restoration to ensure its structural integrity and enhance its visual appeal. The most recent updates, completed in 2017, added modern features while preserving the beloved character of the landmark.

The Big Chicken’s beak and eyes are motorized, creating a whimsical and eye-catching feature that delights passersby. It’s not just a roadside oddity; it’s a navigational reference point for locals who often give directions based on its location. “Meet me at the Big Chicken” is a common phrase heard around Marietta.

Visiting the Big Chicken offers more than just a photo opportunity. Inside, you’ll find a fully operational KFC, where you can enjoy the classic fried chicken and other menu favorites. The interior of the restaurant has been updated with nods to the landmark’s history, making it a unique dining experience.

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The Big Chicken in Marietta is a prime example of how a quirky idea can turn into a beloved community treasure. Whether you’re a longtime resident or a curious traveler, this giant bird is worth a visit for its historical significance and the sheer joy it brings.

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