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Harold’s Chicken Shack (also referred to as The Fried Chicken King, Harold’s Chicken, or simply Harold’s) was originally started by Harold Pierce, an African American Chicago entrepreneur, in 1950.

He started off by running a small restaurant with his wife, Hilda, on 39th Street in Chicago. The name of the restaurant was H&H, and they specialized in dumplings and chicken feet. Gene Rosen, a friend who owned a poultry shop nearby sold chicken to Pierce.

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The character of Harold’s developed primarily out of necessity because the larger fast-food chains tended to avoid African-American neighborhoods. In turn, Chicago’s legal and social obstacles to black-owned businesses at the time prevented Harold’s from expanding into downtown or the North Side. Harold’s became one of the few examples of a thriving fast-food chain that was owned by and primarily served the black community.


Harold’s Chicken is known both for its uniquely prepared chicken and for the unique experience upon entering one of the restaurants. Over 70 years later Harold’s remains a staple in Chicago and is now expanding to other national locations, across 8 different states.

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 Harold Pierce, started Harold's Chicken in 1950 on the Southside of Chicago.

Kristen Pierce, the CEO of  Harold's Chicken and daughter of Harold Pierce.

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