The Union Recorder

February 5, 2013

KFC reopens Wednesday under new ownership

Vaishali Patel
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) patrons can finally satisfy their cravings with the Colonel’s famous fried chicken as it reopens at its original location on North Columbia Street Wednesday.

The family-operated Lyon Management Company of Douglas is the franchisee of the local restaurant.

We’re very excited to be here. Milledgeville is a great town and we look forward to being here for a while,” said Jade Ogden, daughter of owner Sonny Lyon. “We’re hoping to see a good crowd. We had about two weeks of training and cooking.”

The 3,500 square foot eatery underwent interior and exterior renovations, including installation of updated kitchen equipment.

“We’ve completely redone the back of the house as well as the front of the house besides the furniture. We refloored the dining room and restroom, and redid the walls with new artwork,” Ogden said while completing a last-minute checklist Tuesday afternoon. “We invited family, friends and community people [Tuesday] to eat and give employees good training. It was good to see the mayor and city manager come out and show their support.”

With a seating capacity of about 60, the local KFC hired 35 to 40 full-time and part-time employees.

“We started the hiring process and soon as we got two managers who were on board, they finished out the rest of the hiring,” Ogden said.

The Lyon Management Company began almost 28 years ago. The Milledgeville restaurant will be the company’s ninth KFC store.

“We’re in the construction process of another store come March, which will be a KFC in Tifton. We have one Krystal and 10 KFC’s total including the one under construction,” Ogden said. “We’re excited to be here and we felt like Milledgeville is definitely a town that needs a KFC.”

John Frank Sam International Inc. introduced Baldwin County to its first KFC restaurant in 1969 on South Elbert Street before opening another location on the northside of town in the late 1980s. 

After nearly 40 years of serving up its famous fried chicken at the southside location, the franchise closed its doors in 2008 and immediately reopened as MJ’s Cafe, which lasted for about one year.

The North Columbia Street location shut down in early January 2012 before Downsouth Inc. opened. The new eatery went out of business in late February.

KFC Corporation, based in Louisville, Ky., is the world’s most popular chicken restaurant chain, specializing in Original Recipe, Extra Crispy, Colonel’s Crispy Strips and Honey BBQ Wings, with home-style sides and freshly made chicken sandwiches. Since its founding by Colonel Harland Sanders in 1952, KFC has been serving customers already-prepared, complete family meals at affordable prices. KFC serves more than 12 million customers each day in 109 countries and territories around the world. KFC operates 5,200 restaurants in the Unites States and more than 15,000 restaurants internationally.

Operating hours for the Milledgeville KFC are from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

For more information about the franchise, visit www.kfc.com.

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