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'I can't believe you're crying over chicken' | Closure of Price's Chicken Coop brings heartache to community

The Charlotte staple will close its doors Saturday after 59 years of service

It's a long goodbye as hundreds of people lined up for one last meal at a Charlotte staple. 

After nearly 60 years, Price's Chicken Coop will be closing their doors on Saturday. It's a sign that small businesses continue to feel the impacts of the pandemic. 

For 10-year-old Karrigan Khalid, the news was devastating. 

"I looked in my rear view mirror and she was crying, like real tears, funeral crying," Karrigan's mother Karista Khalid said. "I pressed record on my phone and said I can't believe you're crying over chicken." 

In a YouTube video, Karrigan says Price's Chicken Coop is irreplaceable.

"They're not going to be able to come to their favorite place and I said there are other restaurants in Charlotte and she said no," Khalid said. 

Price's Chicken Coop has a long history in Charlotte. Among the trendy shops and restaurants in South End, it's stayed the same.

"The trendy spots are fun but they are what they are, trends, and you know 59 years, that's not a trend it's a story," Felicia Harris said. 

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Lately, things have been hard. Other old favorites like Bill Spoon's Barbeque, Mr. K's Ice Cream Shop, and the Phat Burrito have closed for good. 

Price's Chicken Coop said they're permanently closing due to a labor shortage, rising food costs, food quality, and a coin shortage.

Experts say it's a sign of the times, as some small businesses are still being squeezed by the pandemic. 

"I think a lot of businesses are facing the same challenges,"  Professor of Management at UNC Charlotte Torsten Pieper said.

Many said it was the end of an era as customers lined up for blocks, but looked back on all the good years.

"It's always been outstanding just being a native Charlottean, and just to have the opportunity to come one more time to say goodbye it means a lot," Jessica Worthington said. 

StarMed was also on-site Friday, making the vaccine available to those who wanted to get their shot. They said about 10 people got a shot, and that many people in line said they were vaccinated. They plan to administer shots on Saturday as well. 

Lexi Wilson: Contact Lexi Wilson at lwilson@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

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