February 12, 2013

Khalid's 28 Days of Blackness: Day 12: Roscoe's House of Chicken and W...

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 Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles                     (1975)
 is a Long Beach, California-based soul food restaurant chain founded by Herb Hudson, a Harlem native, in 1975. It is best known, as the name states, for serving chicken and waffles, both together and separately, although they do offer more traditional menu items as well.
Soon after it was opened, Hudson had friends in Motown and television such as Natalie Cole who would spread the word to other celebrities; Redd Foxx would tell his audience that he went there.[1] The Los Angeles Times refers to Roscoe's as "such an L.A. institution that people don't even question the strange combo anymore."[2] The New York Times refers to it as a "beloved soul food chain".[3] The original location in Hollywood remains popular with celebrities.[4][5]
In 2008, Roscoe's fielded a successful trademark infringement lawsuit against "Rosscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles" which had recently opened in Chicago. The infringing store was forced to drop its infringing logo and name.[6][7] A previous "Rosscoe's" had opened in New York City, but the LA-based chain opted to not sue that location because it had no plans to enter the market; however, Roscoe's did plan to enter the Chicago market.[8]
The chain has been featured in popular media a number of times. The 1988 movie Tapeheads features a fake ad spot for the company.[9] It was also mentioned in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown, the comedy film Rush Hour and Swingers.[10] Ludacris mentioned the restaurant in the song "Call Up The Homies" from the album Theater of the Mind with the lyrics "Let's roll to Roscoe's and grab somethin to eat."[11] Snoop Dogg considers the restaurant one of his favorites: on his own reality show, Snoop Dogg's Father Hood, he took David Beckham in 2007, and in 2008 he took Larry King on Larry King Live.[12] The Notorious B.I.G. also mentions Roscoe's in his song "Going Back to Cali". The chain was also mentioned on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles
Roscoe's is alluded to repeatedly in the 2009 blaxploitation parody Black Dynamite, which features a gunfight set at a "Roscoe's Chili and Donuts". Roscoe, the owner, mentions that the business is not going well. A later scene has Roscoe screaming "That's it!" and running out of a diner when an overworked waitress complains that they only have waffles and chicken.

[edit] Locations

Roscoe's sign at the original Hollywood location
Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles has six locations throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Khalid B. Scott, MSW, CADC, MISA I, LCWS, QMHPO:-)