Roscoe's House of Chicken 'n Waffles closes Pasadena location after three decades

Roscoe’s House of Chicken ’n Waffles in Pasadena closed its doors Sunday, thanking customers for their three decades of support. But there may still be a future for the celebrated soul food restaurant in the city.

”We are searching for another upgraded Pasadena Location. Stay tuned and follow us on Facebook and Instagram,” read a sign on the building at 830 N. Lake Ave.

Roscoe’s website lists the Pasadena restaurant, which was open for 30 years, as permanently closed, but offers no other hints about a possible relocation. Representatives for the restaurant did not respond to multiple requests for comment regarding the closure.

Roscoe’s, long a Los Angeles soul food staple, has six remaining Southern California locations — Hollywood, South Los Angeles, Long Beach, Inglewood, Anaheim and La Brea. A Mid-City location on Pico Boulevard closed in early 2023.

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Roscoe’s has a long list of celebrity visitors, including then-President Obama, who had a meal at the Pico restaurant in 2011 that was renamed Obama’s Special in his honor. He mentioned it later in an appearance on "The Tonight Show," saying he rushed to clean a spot off his tie after eating at Roscoe's before heading into a fundraising event.

Online, fans of the soul food chain are lamenting its closure, recalling 30 years of good times and good food.

Others have pointed out that there are four other chicken restaurants within about a five-minute walk of the Roscoe's that's closing. One person referred to the stretch as Chicken Row, where diners can find El Pollo Unico, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and, opened last year, Chick-fil-A. Some others, decidedly less sentimental, said the price of going out to eat had gone up and didn’t match the quality of the food.

The chicken chain has experienced rough patches in recent years. At its South Los Angeles location, a gunman shot and killed rapper PnB Rock in September 2022. Employees at the Pasadena location in 2021 asked a man to wear a mask, and an argument ensued, capped off by the man pulling out a handgun and taking food from the kitchen.

In 2015, Roscoe’s parent company filed for bankruptcy after it was ordered to pay $3.2 million in a wrongful termination and discrimination lawsuit.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.