One of my early jobs was as a gas station attendant on 7th Street, just north of Central Avenue, near downtown KCK. Right across the street from the station was a Go Chicken Go restaurant. This wasn’t a very glamorous job, as it was in the period where they were just beginning to move the operations to pay-before-you-pump. I spent the bulk of my time sitting in a booth, behind a glass front, taking money and turning on the pumps. The steady stream of customers required me to keep a watchful gaze out front. This meant that most of the time I was also watching people file in and out with their chicken dinners.
In the 1960s there was a service station on 7th and Kansas Avenue named Go Gas. The owners, Bill and Mary Hendrix, felt it would fit to start serving fried chicken to customers. To their surprise, the chicken business soon eclipsed gas, so out came the pumps. This allowed them to focus on their new enterprise, which they renamed Go Chicken Go in 1969. In the early 70s, they moved their home base north on 7th to their present-day location near Central Avenue. Two other locations would be added but both would eventually close. In 1985, Bill and Mary’s boys would purchase the operations from their parents. The boys have moved the local chicken chain forward by adding four additional locations around the Kansas City metro.
Back in the late 1970s, I would find that Go Chicken Go served as the source of many of my work meals. Stopping by just before starting my shift, I would be enticed by the smell of freshly cooked chicken. I have always been partial to the legs, wings, and thighs, so I started with these familiar selections. You may notice that the chicken breasts at Go Chicken Go can be a little irregularly shaped. Tasting them proved that they tasted just as good as the rest of the pieces. On most days a Snack pack would satisfy my hunger. Those occasionally extra-hungry days would call for Dinner Meal. This added a third piece of chicken and some of their creamy coleslaw.
Fond Memories of Go Chicken Go
Times change as do we. There are things that remain, which tie us to our younger years. I know a ton of people are raving fans of the livers or gizzards, but they just never worked for me. I have always been happy to leave those for the other customers. These days there doesn’t seem to be as many fried chicken places, as there were in my youth. Besides GCG, I have found some nice flavors at Gus’s Fried Chicken, but I do miss the old KCK haunts like Mr.s Peter’s Chicken. Maybe I need to take a drive down the road to Pittsburg and revisit Chicken Mary’s or Annie’s. They both hold some great memories from the same time period as my early days at the gas station. How many of you still enjoy the flavor of Go Chicken Go?