Kentucky Fried Chicken: Maple Grove, MN

July 5, 2012

Finger lickin’ good? Not here, at least.

Today’s post features the Maple Grove Kentucky Fried Chicken location. This fast food joint opened in 1989, serving up fried chicken battered in 11 herbs and spices. (In reality, it tastes kind of bland for having that many “herbs and spices.” It’s so gently spiced, as if they didn’t want to offend the palates of 7 year old schoolchildren and 80 year old grandmas.)

This location, off of Weaver Lake Road near the Cub Foods, has been vacant for several years. …And that’s all I’ve got about this location anyway. But we can still enjoy the photos and chat about KFC in general, right? Sure, why not?

The beautiful Poultry Palace

My parents took us to KFC occasionally. As a kid, I wasn’t a big fan of KFC, mostly because I’ve never liked eating meat with bones intact (which still holds true for me as an adult). Also, once you peeled off the tasty, crispy skin (the best part and undoubtedly the reason you GO to KFC) the chicken that revealed underneath was all slippery and slimy. I used to like their Chicken Little sandwiches – remember these? They were these little chicken sliders dripping in mayo and were like $0.25 each.

Thank you, drive thru

I don’t remember ever eating inside of KFC – we only went through the drive thru. The KFC drive thru was always such an ordeal. My dad would spend a good 10 minutes arguing with the cashier over the loudspeaker about what sides he wanted. Then you’d pull up to the window and they’d still need clarification — “Yes, we want the mashed potatoes, not the corn. No, five biscuits, not four.” Once they handed you over your order, you’d have to check to make sure they gave you enough utensils. Typically, we’d order the family-sized bucket of Original Recipe with obligatory sides and they’d give you like two napkins and one lousy fork.

This KFC has been sitting empty so long that I think the city is just going to let it be until the vegetation takes over.

Eating here as an adult? …Hmmm…maybe once or twice? The last time I remember eating here was a few years ago. We were traveling with one of Mr. DumpyStripMalls buddies and he wanted KFC for lunch. Being that we were in Bumfuck, Nebraska, there wasn’t a whole lot of options, so we pulled into the lot.

Their sign promoted their “Lunch Buffet” which was what we decided to go for. The KFC lunch buffet allows you to get your full KFC on! You get the whole experience, without committing to an entire bucket of one skin type and one or two sides. The sign stated that the buffet started at 11AM and being that it was 10:50AM, we waited out in the parking lot for a few minutes. This was a truck-friendly KFC and a few seconds later, a loud Mack Truck parks in a space near us.

Abandonded Kentucky Fried Chicken - Maple Grove, MN

There ought to be a law against fast food restaurants. After all, it’s for the good of the American people!

11AM rolls around and we pop out of the vehicle. Mack Truck driver pops out as well. He’s probably here for the buffet too. We walk in and see a KFC employee carrying a stainless steel vat of coleslaw over to the feeding trough. Hooray! Buffet is open! We order and pay. I tell the boys to go ahead and get started while I secure a table. I walk through the dining area, visually inspecting each table to select one that wasn’t in dire need of a wipe-down after being splashed with the remnants of someone else’s meal.


The infamous “Double Down” sandwich (you know, the one with bacon and cheese squished between two fried chicken patties?) was never served here.

The guys finish loading their plates and sit down. Now it’s MY turn at the buffet! The restaurant wasn’t very busy — in fact, the only people eating at the buffet thus far was our party and the Mack Truck Guy. I noticed Mack Truck Guy was still up at the buffet. I grabbed a clean plate and began tonging an Original Recipe drumstick onto my plate. Mack Truck Guy was still in the same position and now that I was closer, I saw what he was doing.

abandoned fast food restaurant in Maple Grove, Minnesota

KFC was much better when they had that spinning bucket on the roof.

He was standing in front of the mashed potato pit, attempting to scoop up ALL the potatoes onto his plate. I gotta admit, he had quite the Mt. Spud on his plate, but I WANTED SOME. As I approached the potato bin, he kept scooping and ignored me. I looked down at the potato pit and saw that it was almost gone. I sighed and walked back to my table, sans potatoes. I get that you’re driving a serious piece of machinery and need carbs for fuel on the long haul, but you don’t need ALL THE MASHED POTATOES.

KFC - Maple Grove, MN

Turn this into a Chick-Fil-A. Minnesota needs one that isn’t at the freakin’ airport…

Of course, as luck would have it, he proceeded to sit at the table next to us. I was treated to a show of the gluttonous driver lapping up his plate of mashed potatoes, slurping sounds and all. After seeing that, I kind of lost my appetite for the mashed potatoes; I didn’t bother making another trip to the buffet when I saw an employee refill the mashed potato vat.

Oh well. It was still a nice treat to have KFC.

Anything you want to share about KFC? Post in the comments.

Photos taken June 2012

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4 Responses to Kentucky Fried Chicken: Maple Grove, MN

  1. Ralph on July 5, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    I’m surprised this hasn’t turned into a Chinese restaurant yet. I think there is a law somewhere that all abandoned Kentucky Fried Chicken buildings have to become Chinese buffets (or taco huts).

  2. Jill on July 7, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Original Recipe FTW!

    I had no idea this empty building existed in Maple Grove. Probs a good indicator why they went out of business.

  3. Jessica O. on July 16, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    I remember the last time I visited this KFC – was just a little kid going with dad to pick up dinner. The floors were sticky, the place was a mess, ceiling tiles were stained and bubbling down like some sort of pipe had burst, etc. Normally I would so look forward to the rare times that our family had KFC, but this time quickly turned into a “Daddy, can we go home?” kind-of-moment.

    The cleaners next door used to be a Pizza Hut back in the 90s. If you look at the building, the roof gives it away. We used to go there to cash in our BookIt coupons from school for free personal pan pizzas. Good times…

  4. Pseudo3D on October 14, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Chicken Littles are back at KFC, but they’re a buck thirty now.

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