Made in S.A.: Church's Chicken history starts in San Antonio

The restaurant founded in 1952 by George W. Church Sr., Church's Chicken had its first location in view of the Alamo and is known as one of the first restaurants to try the drive-thru. And it was all first made in San Antonio.

SAN ANTONIO - When downtown visiting the Alamo there are tons of attractions right across the street.

However, 65 years ago this was the original location of the very first Church's Chicken.

The restaurant was founded in 1952 by George W. Church Sr.

"Our founder George Church, he had worked in the restaurant industry for many years and he became obsessed with the idea of bringing good tasting chicken and Homestyle sides to San Antonio," Church’s Chicken Media Coordinator Victoria Vela said.

The first location, in view of the Alamo, is known as one of the first restaurants to try the drive-thru.

"Our first location was a walk up. So people would walk up to this and it was called Church's Chicken to go," Vela said.

The secret to their success 65 years later? The company said it's their secret marinade.

"In 1965 our founder’s sons Richard and Bill perfected our marinating formula and it's still what we use today. We still closely guard it and it's still what our guests’ love and they know what to expect when they come here," Vela said.

Still made by hand in small batches daily, but there's one side that really helps to set them apart.

"One of our original items is our jalapenos and I think that's our signature item. It's something that guests love to pair with our chicken," Vela said.

The jalapeno was the first side item added to their menu which has grown over the years as they introduced other home-style sides.

The Church family has since sold the company.

However, Church’s is still a staple in chicken with 42 restaurants in San Antonio and 1,600 others across the globe.

"It makes us extremely proud. We know we could not have reached this milestone without our valued guests," Vela said.

So the next time you're driving and see the lone star, just know it was all first made in San Antonio.

© 2017 KENS-TV


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