AQ Chicken House Celebrates 65th Anniversary
A restaurant known for its home-style cooking celebrates its birthday.
AQ Chicken House celebrated its 65th anniversary Sunday.
Melissa Mallard is a 12-year employee of the restaurant, which was started by Roy Ritter decades ago.
“He had a poultry farm back here, and he just built a restaurant,” Mallard said. “We have had a lot of people work here over the years. Most of our employees have been here 30 years.”
AQ Chicken House has a rich history. It opened its doors in Springdale in 1947, pioneering “Southern style” chicken in the Ozarks.
The restaurant went on to serve pan fried chicken to President Bill Clinton for his birthday in 1995 and cater for Air Force One and George and Laura Bush in ’99.
Darlene and Johnny Baker have been eating at the restaurant for as long as they can remember.
While Darlene Baker is a fan of the homemade rolls, she also appreciates the friendly service provided by the wait staff.
“You get to know them by name, and they know you by name,” she said. “They know who you are. They ask how many you’ve got in your party, because they know you’ve got a big party coming. They just know you and that’s good customer relations I think.”
Times have changed since the restaurant’s opening. Back in 1949, half a chicken cost 65 cents and a cup of coffee was just a nickle.
Now, most of their meals run just under $10.
The restaurant prides itself on quality food, excellent service and loyal customers.
“Yeah, we do have a lot of regulars,” said Mallard. “A lot of our servers have different regulars that they will just sit with. Sometimes they’ll just come in and have coffee. I’d say they’re pretty spoiled.”
AQ Chicken opened a Fayetteville location in 1991.
Saturday, the AQ celebrated the tradition with specials and birthday cake for customers.