Lincoln Landmark: Lee's Chicken

Lee's Chicken is the oldest operating restaurant in Lincoln, and a true landmark in town.

We recently traveled to Lee's Chicken to find out more about the business. The business became "Lee's" in 1945. Before that, the builing was open as "Al's Place" in 1935-- or the "19th Hole" for the recently opened golf course at Pioneers park. "They served beer and a bag of potato chips," Lee's General Manager Dennis Kann said. Then, the business was bought be Lee and Alice Franks. "Lee was from Lincoln, Alice was from Louisiana, and they met in Texas," Kann said. When they returned from Texas after the war, Alice brought her chicken recipe with her, and you could say the rest is history.

Two families have been a part of the business ownership over the last 73 years. The first was Lee and Alice and their family. They ran it for 25 years. "In late 1969 or early 1970, they sold out to my in-laws Ozzie and Jan Wilcoxen," Kann said. Ozzie has passed away, but Jan is still alive and president of the company.

Everything is still like it was years ago in the restaurant, which truly gives the business it's charm. "The feel is the same," Kann said. The restaurant features an organ, and is played each night the business is and on weekends. It provides live music and a fun, retro feel to the establishment.

Lee's is of course known for chicken, but the restaurant does offer many sides including mac-n-cheese, the salads with homemade dressings, cole slaw and many other items on the menu. It might be worth a night out to enjoy this trip back in time.