Families in Newport News saddened to see popular chicken franchise Chic-A-Sea close

Posted at 5:18 PM, Feb 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-02 11:26:16-05

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A popular fried chicken franchise in Newport News has now shut their doors. Families tell us Chic-A-Sea is a staple in the community.

News 3 caught up with the owner about the difficult decision she made to close the doors at one of her three remaining locations.

The family-owned restaurant has been serving homemade meals in Hampton Roads for more than 50 years. What once had 50 franchised stores throughout Virginia now has only two remaining locations.

"Chic-A- Sea has played so much of an integral part in our community. They have helped a lot of organizations," said community organizer Andrew Shannon.

The restaurant is best known for its fried chicken sandwiches, but also its gizzards and green plates.

But there's now been a shift in the community.

Maxine Fogg, former owner of the Chic-A-Sea location at Chestnut Avenue, said, "All good things don't last forever, but we put a good run for it, we really did."

Due to the rising costs of products and labor shortages, Fogg had to close the restaurant's doors on January 30.

"Hiring was hard in this area to keep employment here. We tried to do the best that we could; we even started cutting our store hours down to keep the store operating. It was a strain on all the employees and the management here," said Fogg.

"It draws on you to see your neighborhood have to pay that much of a cost for the same item they used to get a couple of years ago," said Linda Joyner, Chic-A-Sea's regional manager.

Joyner said at one point, they had 35 employees between the three locations, but now they’re down to 17. They needed to close the Chestnut Avenue location to allow employees to keep the other two stores open.

Lisa Parker, owner of the Chic-A-Sea in Hampton, said, "The two that we have left we will really give it a good fight. We going to do our best to hang in there."

Some families who grew up on Chestnut Avenue said they're sad to see it go.

"It's been here since I was a little boy. They have good food, good customer service. They treat you like family," said customer Katron Norman.

Shannon, who has partnered with the restaurant for many community events, including "Feeding 5000,"said, "Chic-A-Sea needs the community support now moreso than ever."

Fogg tells News 3 she will continue to help her family members at the remaining two locations on 4400 Jefferson Avenue and 1417 W. Pembroke Avenue in Hampton.

People tell us they will also rally together to try and get the Chestnut Avenue location opened again.

Related: Two Virginia Beach family-owned restaurants assessing damage after fire, overwhelmed by community support