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Kitschy Big Chicken, Cobb County icon, getting overhaul

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Roadside poultry oddity will be closed, completely renovated over the next several months

A 56-foot-tall red metal chicken with open yellow beak and big round eyes that say “Kentucky Fried Chicken” on the side.
The Big Chicken — primed for a big renovation.
Ashley Paine

When obeying directions in Cobb County, it’s not that strange to be told to “turn left at the Big Chicken” — as strange as that sounds.

Towering nearly five stories, the metal bird has been a landmark at Cobb Parkway and Roswell Road since 1963.

Built by an enterprising poultry purveyor, the chicken has adorned what is likely the country’s most unique KFC — and even garnered USA Today’s nod for “Georgia’s Most Iconic Landmark.”

However, with a new “standard” set for KFC, expect some major changes to the building and site, according to the AJC.

The franchisee that owns the restaurant — and many others around the metro area — is planning to overhaul the building to bring it up to the new company standards.

Inside, the restaurant will be gutted; new metal, brick, and weathered wood details will be added back in. A timeline displaying the history of the restaurant will also be built.

Outside, expect a new patio and screened porch, accommodating a few diners.

All the changes will require the closure of the restaurant — squawk! — for nearly three months.

But don’t worry, the chicken isn’t going anywhere.

In case there’s any doubt what the red tower — with a beak that opens and closes and spinning googly eyes — is, a new sign will proclaim that it is, in fact, “the BIG chicken.” Just to clear up any confusion.

An artistic impression of the cleaned up chicken, complete with large roadside sign.
A rendering of the new sign and revamped restaurant.
KBP Investments via AJC