According to an often-cited Ohio University study, 60 percent of restaurants fail before their first year. It’s no wonder. The high-risk venture is a veritable pupu platter of potential problems — location issues, management frustrations, food inconsistencies, etc. But in Charleston it’s easy to forget this statistic, especially when a new restaurant opens seemingly every other week.
But it does happen. In April alone 14 restaurants closed according to the Charleston Restaurant Report. We don’t have the tally for May yet, but we can add Chick’s Fry House to the list.
This morning Chick’s Fry House owner and James Beard Award-winner Robert Stehling let us know that he’s shuttering his fried chicken spot at 1011 King St.
In an email Stehling says, “As you know, things got off to a rocky start last year. The team has worked phenomenally hard to overcome these problems — I’m deeply proud of them and the substantial progress we’ve made. While we’ve been steadily building a customer base, it has proven something of an uphill battle. Regretfully, we’ve come to the conclusion that the most responsible financial decision is to close. I’m very grateful to the staff for their dedication and hard work and to all our wonderful customers. We will miss serving them but appreciate their loyalty and support.”
Chick’s suffered from the double blow of two tough reviews from City Paper critic Allston McCrady and Post & Courier’s Hanna Raskin. But the restaurant had appeared to be making a comeback this winter with the launch of Nashville-style hot chicken.
It wasn’t enough to turn the tide on the North Central spot, however. Stehling has yet to share what will happen to the building. As of today, Chick’s is officially closed. Love Best of Charleston? Help the Charleston City Paper keep Best of Charleston going every year with a donation. Or sign up to become a member of the Charleston City Paper club.
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