Celebrating 40 Years!


It’s hard to believe that it’s been 40 years since we opened the doors to the first Ezell’s Famous Chicken restaurant at 501 23rd Avenue East, across from Garfield High School—where it still stands today, going strong and serving the community.


The years have flown past, with many changes along the way. New restaurants, new menu items, new endeavors, new team members. But some things remain the same. Members of the founding family, including our own Lewis Rudd, Darnell Rudd, and sister Faye Stevens, are still leading the way. We’re still serving the best, freshest fried chicken and sides you’ll ever eat. And we remain deeply committed to giving back to our local communities.

Hazel Danielle Clayton Foundation

This month, as we celebrate our 40th year, we invite you to join us in giving back, through our .40 for 40 promotion. It couldn’t be easier: from February 1 to 29, every time you visit one of our locations or order online, simply add a 40-cent donation to your total. Funds raised will go to our recently announced Hazelle Danielle Clayton Foundation, named for our beloved community programs specialist, who passed away in 2023. The Foundation supports local youth programs focused on education and economics—the causes that were dearest to Hazel’s generous heart. Donations can also be made directly on the Foundation’s giving page.

When you visit any of our locations, you’ll notice our team members getting into the spirit: we’re bringing back the uniforms that we proudly wore in our earliest days.

We hope you’ll join the fun, help us celebrate 40 incredible years, and contribute to important programs that benefit kids in need. We thank you for the loyalty that allows us to celebrate this milestone anniversary!

A look back at 40 years in photos