About Chicken Shack
A mix of chance and prudent decision making led to the founding of Chicken Shack.
The chance: Cofounders John and Iola Sobeck—who happened to be husband and wife—never would have met had John not decided to rent a room from Iola's family while working in Detroit after World War II. And John never would have moved to Motor City in the first place had he not flipped a coin with his buddy, Andy, to help the pair decide between Cleveland (John's pick) and Detroit.
And the prudent decision making: Even though John had a good job in manufacturing when he met Iola, he noticed that many old hands in the industry were being laid off. So he decided to become an entrepreneur, eventually opening J & J Ice Cream in Lexington, Michigan, while on honeymoon in 1947. But years later, the couple decided to move away from the seasonal frozen-custard business toward a more stable endeavor: the business of delicious, juicy chicken.
Since it first opened in Royal Oak, Michigan, in 1956, Chicken Shack has grown in success and popularity, eventually sprouting up several locations—though Iola still leads the company to this day. And most restaurants can still be found in and around Detroit, serving Chicken Shack's loyal customers their favorite fried chicken, as well as seafood, saucy ribs, and pork chops.
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