It’s 5:15 on a Friday. At Richie’s in the West End, the chicken is piled high, hot from the fryer. They don’t do this because they think they’ll fall behind. They know they’ll fall behind. The girl behind the counter laughs with a regular: “My hair looks nappy from working here all day. All I want to do is go home and wash it. It’s Friday night and everybody I know will be in here looking at my nappy hair.” And she means everybody. On Friday nights Richie’s is a ritual, busier than a West End church on Sunday. It’s all about the chicken here. They sell it by the piece or in 100-piece barrels. Richie’s has rib tips, shrimp, and fried fish too, but the chicken is why the lot’s full on Friday night and the line’s out the door. Richie’s also has an impressive selection of sides that goes well beyond those commercial chicken places. In addition to all the norms, there are candied yams, onion rings, mushrooms, cauliflower, okra, and egg rolls. Why egg rolls? There’s a molten fryer right there, might as well throw them in. And then there’s the sweet potato pie and the apple or peach cobbler. But you need to get there before the rush. Those go quickly. Richie’s has a few more locations too, one in Bond Hill and one in Avondale. They come, they go. But they always seem to be right around the corner.
1301 Linn St., West End
Lunch and dinner seven days