BIZNOTE: Ezell’s Famous Chicken eyeing West Seattle site, permit records show

The AT&T store site at California/Fauntleroy has been up for lease for nine months, according to the Commercial MLS website (the store’s still open). Now, city records suggest a new tenant has been found – Ezell’s Famous Chicken, the Seattle-based fried-chicken chain with a national reputation. The plan is shown on a renovation-permit application filed Friday; we found it while doing routine research in city online records.

West Seattle’s fried-chicken scene has been in flux in recent years – KFC closed in 2018 in the spot that now holds Habit Burger, while Harry’s Chicken Joint departed in 2019 from the space now holding HeartBeet Organic Superfoods Café. But Ma’ono is going strong, and chicken fans who don’t mind driving a few miles south to White Center have their choice of Popeye’s, Bok-a-Bok, or KFC.

Ezell’s, however, is considered fried-chicken royalty – a 36-year-old company with legions of fans including, famously, Oprah Winfrey. They’ve grown to 16 locations, as far-flung as Spokane and Tigard, Oregon; the nearest to West Seattle are in the Central District and Rainier Valley (further than they used to be, with the bridge out).

The corner space in Morgan Junction was built when the old West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) was rebuilt following the 1997 fire. Its original tenant was a Café Starbucks – a food-service concept the company eventually ditched – that only lasted a year, closing in early 2000. The space became a Tully’s Coffee shop a few months later; that lasted a decade, and cell-phone retail followed.

Again, this is an early-stage filing – on occasion those fall through, so don’t count your (fried) chicken until it’s hatched, as the saying goes. We have a message out to an Ezell’s spokesperson for comment on status and timeline.

52 Replies to "BIZNOTE: Ezell's Famous Chicken eyeing West Seattle site, permit records show"

  • SJ January 18, 2021 (1:58 pm)

    Yes, please! Love Ezell’s chicken (and mashed potatoes). But don’t forget Wing Stop in Westwood Village.

  • Mark January 18, 2021 (1:59 pm)

    Absolutely zero hope now of losing that Covid 10.

    • Lilly January 18, 2021 (3:53 pm)

      I wish it was only 10 pounds for me, more like 30 pounds. I wonder where people will be able to park, since before the business in that building only had less than 5 parking spots and the rest in for customers of Thriftway. 

  • WSOwl January 18, 2021 (2:00 pm)


  • Joan LaBriola January 18, 2021 (2:07 pm)

    2021 is looking better already!!

  • newnative January 18, 2021 (2:09 pm)


  • Earnest Phillips January 18, 2021 (2:11 pm)

    There is a God!

  • Alki resident January 18, 2021 (2:29 pm)

    Omg!! Open open open❤️

  • Blbl January 18, 2021 (2:31 pm)

    Well, dang. I had just gotten comfortable with my decision to move out of West Seattle because the bridge. Now it looks like I’m staying. 

  • Foodie January 18, 2021 (2:33 pm)

    Ezell’s had a store in White Center many years ago. Welcome back to the westside!

  • Roy January 18, 2021 (2:35 pm)

    I love Ezells and glad they are going to be local.  However, I get my weekly fix at a food truck on Fauntleroy across from Trader Joe’s called Swagg-n-Wagon.Swagg-n-Wagon is the real deal with the best tenders and bone-in pieces this side of the Mississippi IMHO.

    • deathfromabovekitty January 18, 2021 (5:05 pm)

      Swagg-n-Wagon is delicious!! Glad to see this comment I was surprised they didn’t get a mention in the article. Waffle fries, greens, and the tastiest chicken around ❤️

      • WSB January 18, 2021 (5:36 pm)

        It’s a food truck and wasn’t there last time we passed that spot.

        • JES January 18, 2021 (9:08 pm)

          Tue-Fri 12-6. It’s the real deal!

    • West Seattle Mad Sci Guy January 18, 2021 (6:00 pm)

      Their chicken pieces are HUGE and delicious. Definitely added to my covid lbs the one day I ate there.

      • Christophett January 18, 2021 (6:57 pm)

        Swagg-n-Wagon! Still there multiple days by the dry cleaners across from TJs. Great chicken and collard greens. Nice folks. Chicken fans check it out. 

    • Conjunction Junction January 19, 2021 (10:28 am)

      OOOO, nice recommendation thanks!

  • Mellow Kitty January 18, 2021 (2:41 pm)

    Best. Announcement. Today. 

  • Peter January 18, 2021 (2:44 pm)

    Looks like I’m going to find those 15 pounds I lost. 

  • Joel Schoenberg January 18, 2021 (2:47 pm)


  • Tracie January 18, 2021 (2:59 pm)

    Oh yes, please.

  • HS January 18, 2021 (3:15 pm)

    Joel nailed it 😂

  • Alyssa January 18, 2021 (3:17 pm)

    Yes! Even in Spokane they do it right, but I would love it close to home

  • Lamont January 18, 2021 (3:20 pm)

    I just wanted a vaccine in 2021, you’re telling me I can also have Ezell’s?

  • onion January 18, 2021 (3:35 pm)

    I’ve had Ezell’s. Bok a Bok remains my go-to for fried chicken. 

  • natinstl January 18, 2021 (4:22 pm)

     I would love this, my waist line wouldn’t, but bring it on…

  • Paul West January 18, 2021 (4:42 pm)

    Grillbird has killer katsu chicken right now in case you can’t wait. We get the katsu burger every week – so good!

  • Joe January 18, 2021 (4:49 pm)

    I think this is one of the first posts I’ve seen where there wasn’t a backlash at a new restaurant coming to WS. Looks like 2021 is bringing some more compassion to us all. Thanks, Ezelle’s, for bringing us together.  

    • MrsT January 19, 2021 (9:44 am)

      We can all thank Ezells for not being a pizza joint. Maybe fried chicken is the new pizza for 2021?

      • JES January 19, 2021 (4:57 pm)

        We can hope!!

  • WSOG January 18, 2021 (4:57 pm)

    Don’t forget Endolyne Joe’s when you list places for chicken. They do a really good job. I know they are closed now. But I have all my fingers and toes crossed that they will reopen. Will also be happy to have Ezell’s as well. 

    • WSB January 18, 2021 (5:42 pm)

      It’s part of their menu. The mentions above were meant as a note about places that specialize in fried chicken, exclusively or close to it. I don’t consider wings in that category so that’s why I didn’t mention Wingstop, per another comment upthread. Certainly there are lots of places you can get fried chicken as part of a wide menu (including karaage at Kizuki, and there’s been fried chicken on the menu at Shadowland, and …) …

  • tender chicken January 18, 2021 (5:04 pm)

    • tc January 18, 2021 (5:51 pm)


  • None January 18, 2021 (5:12 pm)

    But Thriftway already had the best chicken strips at the cafe inside for lunch. Yum 

  • Lani January 18, 2021 (5:17 pm)

    Except it’s not the original Ezell’s, it’s a relative that owns it now and the chicken isn’t awesome IMHO. Heaven Sent is owned by the original owner and I really like it better. Still though. Fried chicken. Yum. 

    • JES January 18, 2021 (9:43 pm)

      It’s Ezell’s former business partner, it’s the same chicken.

  • Beer & Chicken January 18, 2021 (6:04 pm)

    This bodes very well for bringing outside food into Beveridge Place. I’m seeing a lot of pint glasses with greasy fingerprints in their future. 

  • Gini Johnson January 18, 2021 (6:10 pm)

    YES please. I used to go thru the drive thru in White Center for gizzards! I love all of their chicken entrees!! 

    • WSB January 18, 2021 (6:14 pm)

      Until you and another commenter mentioned it, I totally forgot that Ezell’s was for a while in the spot that was a longtime Wendy’s, as well as a Peruvian restaurant, in WC (on a site that now holds an apartment building). Always appreciate history reminders! – TR

  • River January 18, 2021 (7:38 pm)

    Best news I’ve heard in a long time.

  • M January 18, 2021 (7:56 pm)

    Ezell’s brings back memories of the Kingdome. 

  • lol January 18, 2021 (9:07 pm)

    Yessssssss!!!!! So excited ❤️

  • Hey lady January 18, 2021 (9:20 pm)

    I manifested this. You’re welcome. 

  • Ann Adachi January 18, 2021 (9:31 pm)

    I LOVE Ezells & have braved traffic & the commute into town to get my fix of their chicken strips & those “oh so delicious” rolls. Besides Biden inauguration & the vaccine availability, this Ezells news starts 2021 off w/a bang! 🌟 Thanks as always WSB for keeping our community informed! 

  • Damon Andrew Gerfin January 18, 2021 (11:18 pm)

    Anybody looking for great chicken that’s waiting on Ezells doesn’t know about the orange truck across from Trader Joe’s in West Seattle. The Swaggin Wagon is where it’s at! It is the best frayed chicken around, and their house made swag sauce is amazing!

  • Tyler Printz January 19, 2021 (1:17 am)

    All this did was make me realize how long ago that little building went up. Time flies.

  • Old Whaling Sea Hag January 19, 2021 (5:37 am)

    I’m super stoked to see all the locals and townees being brought together by Ezells. Being not from the area, I’ve had their chicken, and I’m not very impressed. If Ezells opened-up anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon Line, or between The Ohio River and the Continental Divide… it would be outmatched. The PNW is a safe haven for mediocrity when it comes to culinary innovation. Just another thing Seattle does so wrong! Thumbs down! Losing Top Pot for Ezells is not an even trade-off.

    • JES January 19, 2021 (4:59 pm)

      Thanks for commenting! You might consider going back where you came from if you’re so unhappy in Seattle? Bye!

  • Bradley January 19, 2021 (8:48 am)

    A vote for Bok a Bok. Gluten free a bonus. 

  • 35this35mph January 19, 2021 (9:11 pm)

    Maaaannn, I love Ezell’s, but I need somebody to come up with low carb fried chicken! 

  • So excited January 21, 2021 (3:47 pm)

    FRIED OKRA!!!    

Sorry, comment time is over.