Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘n Waffles, the American soul food restaurant chain with seven Los Angeles locations spanning from Pasadena to Hollywood, Long Beach and beyond, has officially closed its Mid-City location on Pico Boulevard after a 32-year run.
First founded by Harlem native Herb Hudson in 1975 when he opened the original Long Beach outpost, Roscoe’s’ iconic location on Pico and La Brea Avenue welcomed countless high-profile guests over the years, including Snoop Dogg, Larry King, David Beckham and U.S. President Barack Obama, who ended up with his own “Obama Special” on the menu. Consisting of three wings with a choice of waffle, potato salad or french fries), it replaced the original No. 9 “Country Boy” which he ordered during an unplanned visit to the restaurant amid his campaign for a second term in 2011.
A statement posted to the company’s Instagram account reads: “After over 30 years of serving delicious meals and creating memorable dining experiences at Roscoe’s Pico, we are sad to announce that our Pico Blvd location is officially closed. We have loved being a part of the community and serving our valued customers at 5006 W. Pico Blvd … We have continued to bring classic chicken and waffles to many communities at our different restaurant locations and will continue to do so. Thank you for your loyalty and support over the years, we look forward to serving you at one of our other 7 locations around the greater Los Angeles area. #LongLivePico.”
In October 2021, owner Herb Hudson told Eater LA that the Pico location closure was in the works following the opening of the newer, larger La Brea location roughly half a mile away at Washington Boulevard. The shift was reportedly planned, in part, due to aging architecture, and to transform the spot from a restaurant space to one that will house Roscoe’s Motivation for Change Foundation, a non-profit that will “focus on public service, culture initiatives, community empowerment, job skill development and programming in culinary arts and media training.”
Representatives of Roscoe’s Chicken ’n Waffles have not responded to requests for comment regarding the closure.
The Pico location, known for its worn-in booths and wood-paneled walls illuminated by a wash of pink neon lighting, has been featured in several film and TV projects over the years. The 1988 movie Tapeheads starring John Cusack and Tim Robbins features a fake ad spot for Roscoe’s. It has gotten mentioned in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown, Rush Hour, Swingers, Be Cool and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The restaurant has also been used as a setting in Netflix’s #blackAF and Issa Rae’s Insecure.
- Roscoe’s House of Chicken ‘n Waffles on Pico Boulevard, Home to the ‘Obama Special,’ Closes After 32 Years
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