A restaurant is coming back to Macon and is expected to create memories for new generations.
Maryland Fried Chicken is going in the former Krystal building at 2983 Vineville Ave., said Scott Renfroe, one of three partners who own the franchise. His brother, Jason Renfroe, and Seburn Williams also are partners.
It is expected to open by the end of the month or early June, Scott Renfroe said.
The last Maryland Fried Chicken place in Macon closed about 20 years ago, Renfroe said.
During renovation work on the building, some people have walked up asking what was moving in, he said. When he tells them, it stirs up memories.
“They say ‘Golly, I remember when I used to stay with my grandparents and we’d eat there every Sunday,’” Renfroe said. “It’s creating memories. Everybody I talk to remembers back when they used to eat there.”
The Vineville store has about 2,000 square feet of space and will seat about 45 people, he said.
No major structural work is part of the renovation, but new cabinets and counters have been added and the kitchen was remodeled “to suit our needs,” he said.
Warner Robins-based The Specialists is doing the construction work.The restaurant is expected to employ about 30 full- and part-time workers. Plans are to be open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and closed on Sundays, he said.
“We will do the chicken, and we’ll do catfish, shrimp, buffalo wings, livers, gizzards — traditional Maryland Fried Chicken menu,” he said. “We cook in pressure fryers and use pure peanut oil. I think that’s the main difference (with other fried chicken places). ... It’s more expensive to do it, but it’s a totally different flavor.”
Renfroe has Maryland Fried Chicken in his blood. His family has been in the business since 1968 in Albany.
“My granddad was one of the original franchisees,” he said. The Albany business was passed along to Renfroe’s father and then Renfroe and his partners bought it. He sold two stores in Albany when he moved to Warner Robins, but his family still owns the original one from 1968, he said.
The Vineville store may not be the only one Renfroe opens.
“If this thing flies over like we think it will ... the ultimate goal is to end up with three or four in Macon and a couple in Warner Robins,” he said. “I think we’ll just have to see how this takes off.
The Maryland Fried Chicken company was founded in the early ’60s in Florida by a native of Delaware, who wanted to compete with Kentucky Fried Chicken, according to the company’s Web site. The name was created to cater to employees of a Maryland-based aerospace company now called Lockheed Martin Corp. that moved into Orlando and brought several Baltimoreans to town.
In Middle Georgia, the company has restaurants in Dublin, Thomasville and Swainsboro.
To contact writer Linda S. Morris, call 744-4223.