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LeRoy’s Fried Chicken closes

LeRoy's Fried Chicken

LeRoy's Fried Chicken

Bill Addison of Atlanta magazine reported this morning that LeRoy’s Fried Chicken has closed. This chicken stand serving Springer Mountain chicken fried in lard and classic Southern sides opened this past summer on the Westside. It was a joint venture between chef Julia LeRoy, Clay Harper and Mike Nelson (the latter two are owners of Fellini’s Pizza and La Fonda Latina).

Was it the use of lard? The overly thick batter? Prices? Parking? Limited seating? We’ll never know.

Although I only tried LeRoy’s once in its first few weeks, I’d heard multiple reports recently that some of the initial kinks had been resolved, resulting in a better product.

Calls to LeRoy’s are unanswered this morning and no announcement has been posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page, but Bill Addison has spoken directly with Julia LeRoy.

I can’t wait to see where chef LeRoy surfaces next.

-by Jenny Turknett, Food & More blog

48 comments Add your comment

RK

October 25th, 2011
11:52 am

“missed the mark on the concept”

Sounds like it…perhaps the hype did them in? There’s nothing worse than going to a supposedly-great restaurant and being underwhelmed, but at least you weren’t spending hundreds of dollars here.

FoodFan

October 25th, 2011
12:31 pm

Just goes to show that – for the price – Popeye’s can’t be improved upon.

jack trent

October 25th, 2011
12:56 pm

Next project?? Let’s see who is the next investor to be foolish enough to dump their money into it. The only REASON this place closed is because the food sucked.

Mike

October 25th, 2011
1:04 pm

Lard? I’m glad I never went there.

My guess is they didn’t do well because the Westside hipsters saw the name “LeRoy’s” and thought it was soul food. It certainly didn’t look like it was owned by the LeRoys from Tavern on the Green…

Emma

October 25th, 2011
1:13 pm

@Mike! I’m with you brother…LARD! GROSS!!!! I’m glad I never went there either. Who still cooks in lard?

chris

October 25th, 2011
1:14 pm

Meh. Underwhelmed. I’ve had great fried chicken (yes, in lard) – this was not it. And not fried to order as promised. Biscuits – horrible. Chicken – merely average. The only thing remotely interesting about the food was the collards with the secret ingredient of soy sauce. Not worth the stop. Better luck next time!

Southern Gal

October 25th, 2011
1:25 pm

Seriously, Mike and Emma? Lard is a common fat for frying. Hell, there are even potato chips fried in lard. Do duck fat fries horrify you, too? Yes? Great! More for the rest of us who are not so squeamish. BTW, you should know that meat comes from animals and not styrofoam trays. As for the other negative comments, perhaps you all should try opening and running a restaurant (or any business for that matter) rather than playing arm-chair CEO via this column. It would do you some good to see how difficult, scary and exhausting it is to be a business owner. At a minimum, I don’t see any value in kicking someone once they’re down–it’s just plain old tacky.

Jr.

October 25th, 2011
1:28 pm

@Southern Gal

Meow!

chris

October 25th, 2011
1:31 pm

Southern Gal – sorry, but you have to live up to your promises, too. It’s not a one way street. I honestly was dying for this to work. I really was. I was looking for my fried chicken home ITP. This place was one step up from a food truck in terms of complexity. It wasn’t fine dining, and she’s been successful before. The ingredient quality was there – it just didn’t work. Maybe it was the cooks? If so, then as the owner you have some accountability for making sure the product is what you want to be served. You can’t charge people a $15 lunch that they don’t want to finish eating.

Emma

October 25th, 2011
1:44 pm

@Southern Gal…ummmmm I do own a business a bakery and in it’s third year. Yep sure is exhasting…and I wasn’t KICKING anyone down!!!!!!

Mike

October 25th, 2011
2:02 pm

Southern Gal, LeRoy’s wasn’t on Hemphill Avenue. Don’t be so prejudiced.

Happy carnivore here, but one who doesn’t want an angioplasty or a bypass. My fried chicken comes from the Frances Virginia Tea Room Cookbook, and I don’t fry in animal fat.

dg

October 25th, 2011
2:03 pm

The chicken was the greasiest I’ve ever touched,it had no flavor other than lard flavor and for it’s presentation, it was expensive. Once was more than enough to eat that mess. Yuck and good riddance.

Voice of Reason

October 25th, 2011
2:05 pm

These are the funniest comments ever!

DSGG

October 25th, 2011
2:09 pm

LeRoy’s closed because the fried chicken was mediocre…not tasty at all. I can do better at home. Also the biscuits were too thick and dry, tasting like pure cardboard. That’s the real reason they shut down.

RK

October 25th, 2011
2:13 pm

Shirley Hemphill?

jack trent

October 25th, 2011
2:21 pm

Who wants to invest in her new project? We have another Richard Blais here. Fail and more fail. Let’s keep throwing all the investors money in the trash til she goes on a TV show, then maybe she will cash in on the next trend.

Annie

October 25th, 2011
2:23 pm

No surprised given the involvement of the owners of La Fonda Latina and Fellini’s. Fellini’s is mediocre pizza (as Atlantans are learning now that there’s real pizza in this city). La Fonda Latina is the most disgusting food ever. I am a Latina and while I don’t expect greatness from a gringo-oriented place, La Fonda plainly serves low quality food. I can’t believe people go there. Have you tried their paella? They take Mexican yellow rice, throw in canned sea food, and serve it. Those owners’ model of crappy food because people don’t know any better will no longer work in Atlanta. This is why the Buckhead Life Group has had to up its game, as well as other Atlanta institutions. Those who don’t, will not survive.

Thorton

October 25th, 2011
2:24 pm

My grandfather drove a 1952 GMC van with a large kettle in the storage bay. Grandfather cooked pork rinds and fat back in said kettle. I remember being splashed with molten lard for laughing when he told me of his intention to have me “Take over the family business,” as it where. I have been vegan since the time I was able to decide what I would or would not ingest, which coincided with the application of my final skin graft just weeks before graduation cum laude from Cornell. I tried the greens at LeRoy’s and much like James, I found it to be less than pleasing. It is incumbent upon these types of establishments notify vegans of how they are preparing their vegetables. Perhaps if LeRoy’s Fried chicken were more vegan-friendly, we’d be celebrating rather than mourning another Atlanta bistro.

RK

October 25th, 2011
2:30 pm

Vegan-friendly at a fried chicken place that uses lard…yeah, I’m sure that was the big issue.

Ignition

October 25th, 2011
2:31 pm

Absolutely the WORST fried chicken I have ever had in my Life….
I read a review about how good it was & went only to be meet with over priced Horrible fried chicken & rock hard biscuits…..
So Long !!!!!!!!

Air Biscuit

October 25th, 2011
2:36 pm

The Rio Vista used to serve fried catfish fried in pure lard. Man it was goooood!

Lard Bucket

October 25th, 2011
2:53 pm

Enter your LARD comments here:

Bill Worley

October 25th, 2011
2:59 pm

@Air Biscuit

Rio Vista used lard? Oh well. All I really remember is the fish on the sign, and the stench coming from whatever that was across the street behind the Majik Market.

..oh, and the hushpuppies!

justlogical

October 25th, 2011
2:59 pm

@Air Biscuit, I grew up going to Rio Vista and it sure would be nice to have some of their catfish now. All this food talk has made me hungry

M. Johnson

October 25th, 2011
3:00 pm

I, too, hoped for the best. We need variety and I support local businesses. But when times are tough, no one is interested in pedigreed chicken.

With all the spots that have come and gone in my neighborhood, the only ones with staying power sell pizza and cheap Mexican food. It sucks, but it’s a sign of the times.

Brink

October 25th, 2011
3:13 pm

M.Johnson – Atlanta’s palate is not ready for variety. Most people will talk about being “foodies” and buying local and sustainable food, but end up at Taco Bell eating crap.

jack trent

October 25th, 2011
3:23 pm

How can we all forget about her other venture with the investors: Three on the Tree frozen yogurt

http://www.tonetoatl.com/2011/09/three-on-tree-shifts-out-of-buckhead.html

Anymore investors intersted?? What’s the next trend she going to bandwagon? BURGERS?? PIZZA?? – all sustainable local farm to table ingredients.

jack trent

October 25th, 2011
3:26 pm

The Truth

October 25th, 2011
3:44 pm

If you ain’t got the Colonel’s secret recipe on yo chicken then you eventually gonna close. Thats just all there is to it.

Air Biscuit

October 25th, 2011
3:54 pm

Bill & Just – I too grew up going to Rio Vista and really miss it. Ever tried the Falls View place at High Falls?

Edward

October 25th, 2011
4:20 pm

How in the he** can you take a comment seriously when they exclaim that lard is gross or express a desire for “vegan-friendly” fried chicken? Is this a joke? I realize the palate of most Atlantans is not far advanced above the swill of The Varsity or Mary Macs or Popeyes, so I do give some leeway when necessary. But, this is a “foodie” column and I would hope that some persons with actual food appreciation and experience would comment occasionally.

The problem with LeRoy’s was inconsistency. I visited it four times. The first time everything was sublime. The chicken was amazing, the sides were great, the biscuit tender and delicious. Second time nothing was good, the chicken just a greasy mess. Third time, it was OK. The chicken was good but the sides fell far short. Fourth and last visit was much like the second. I really wanted that place to do well, the concept (great fried chicken, great sides) was a good one. But, be consistently good.

RealFoody

October 25th, 2011
4:29 pm

I think a few folks need to find Greyhound and head back up north with their sophisticated palates. Nothing more upscale than a Philly cheesesteak or an ecoli dog on Wall Street. I have two words: Richard and Blais. THE Top Chef. You Blaised and confused now? Help clean up the south–put a Yankee on a bus.

Miss Spelling

October 25th, 2011
6:40 pm

Ah, Houghton. You clearly are a man of breeding. I nearly swooned over your spelling, punctuation and grammar. Clearly, we humble bumpkins can learn a thing or two from such a refined, learned man as you.

Odis

October 25th, 2011
8:01 pm

@RealFoody – What’s with this North vs. South attitude? The WAR has been over for almost 150 years. You lost, not get over it. The rest of the country has.

Atlantan

October 25th, 2011
9:15 pm

Not even my 5-year old liked it…. Too bad I understand the chef had serious cred. Atlanta doesn’t have a great fried chicken place ITP – think it could be successful if good. Duplicate Deacon Burton’s pan fried chicken and one could be quite successful.

Heathcliff

October 25th, 2011
9:54 pm

What happened to McMurple’s comment??? It was hilarious!

PTC DAWG

October 25th, 2011
10:42 pm

War is right, War of Northern Agression…

Brink

October 26th, 2011
11:03 am

@RealFoody – Blais is from NY but that’s cool. We are just trying to expand your horizon’s past crappy pizza and bad fried chicken.

Odis

October 26th, 2011
11:28 am

@PTC DAWG – Call it whatever you like, it was a righteous war, the North won, the South lost. The South was wrong about slavery, end of story.

Wino

October 26th, 2011
12:18 pm

The simple truth is $12-15 will get you a better lunch at 30 places within 2 miles of Leroys.

Baltisraul

October 26th, 2011
5:24 pm

Chicken was below avg. The biscuits were hard as baseballs. And way too expensive even if the food was worth coming back for, which it was not.

carla roqs

October 27th, 2011
9:48 am

tell ‘em again, RK.

Three Jack

October 27th, 2011
2:30 pm

I’m with you Southern Gal. It’s fine to critique LeRoy’s food, but some of these asinine comments are obviously from couch sitters who have never even thought about running their own business, much less a restaurant.

I hope Julia comes back with another concept and kicks a$$! I ate at LeRoy’s for the first time 2 weeks ago and enjoyed my lunch. Given enough time, I am confident she will find success.

Fire Frank Wren

October 27th, 2011
4:03 pm

The chicken was not all that good–especially for the price. The chicken biscuit was ok, but they weren’t open for breakfast. Who wants to pay $8 for two tiny pieces of chicken–no side and no drink? Sides were over $2 each. I’d rather drop $10 at Paschal’s or $8 at Carver’s–both of which are not too far away.

james

October 27th, 2011
4:32 pm

chicken tasted like winn dixie deli fried chicken

Baltisraul

October 28th, 2011
7:19 am

james……….thats not right. Winn Dixie’s fried chicken is good! And you get 8 pieces for $5.99.

BuHi

October 28th, 2011
3:48 pm

Wow, this got stupid quicker than usual… Lard, if properly used, is not “bad” for you, nor will it immediately screw up your heart. No, I’m not a physiologist, but it’s not hard to find facts (as opposed to opinion).

But enough about that. I went to LeRoy’s for lunch twice (and I’m not kicking here while she’s down – just making observations). I REALLY wanted it to be good. Both times, the chicken was awful (and expensive). The chicken was over-brined (salty as hell), the crust was way too thick and ended up being slimy underneath.

There were two things I noticed (on the admittedly limited number of times that I visited).

1. I’d heard a lot about where the birds were sourced, etc., etc. But, very little attention seemed to be paid to the quality of product coming out of the window. I don’t care where you get your chicken, or how happy it was in it’s former life – if you don’t pay attention to how you cook it, it doesn’t matter.

2. I’d also heard a lot about how good a chef Julia was (and I’m sure that’s true). But, during lunch hour – Julia never seemed to be there (again, on the two times I visited). On my second visit, she showed up as I was leaving and hung out up front, chatting with people she knew – never once asked anyone how the food was. I’m not a chef, but I don’t think you should ignore your kitchen during busy times – especially when you’re business is so young. I’ve always found that in restaurants with exception food, it’s exceptionally hard to get the chef out of the kitchen during service…

Just my two cents – I’m sure she’s learned quite a bit from this and I wish her the best in her next venture.

Stillo

October 31st, 2011
1:12 am

Yeah, anyone who says “lard wtf ew gross” doesn’t know what they are talking about, I went here three times and it was incredible all three times. I’m upset it closed, they sold Cheerwine there, the chicken was fantastic, and the black eyed peas were amazing.