SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — AQ Chicken House in Springdale closes its doors for good on March 18 after being in business for 76 years.
Kaleesa Sanders has been the manager at AQ Chicken House for two years and has been coming here since she was a kid.
“Working here for the last two years, it’s felt more and more like home, and now it’s just the end,” Sanders said.
Sanders says she had to pull her emotions together walking into the restaurant because she couldn’t believe this will be the last shift she will work as a manager.
“I came in today to kind of, like, prep myself ahead of time. ‘Let’s not cry, let’s not cry, let’s not cry,’ because that’s what I want to do,” Sanders said.
Sanders says people from all over travel to AQ for fellowship and partake in some amazing food.
“My mom would watch this and smack me over the head when I get home tonight, but yes it’s better than mama’s cooking,” Sanders said.
AQ Chicken House opened in 1947 where generations of families had the opportunity to experience the joy this place brought to so many.
“We like meeting here, we like the food, and so it’s a sentimental thing to us,” Laveta Sergeant said.
Sergeant, her family, and her church group have eaten at the restaurant for almost 20 years.
“My husband and I and our two sons and their children, we have a family tradition to come here,” Sergeant said.
Margaret Little is one of many customers who knows the importance of keeping historic sites like AQ Chicken House alive.
“We’ve been there since the ‘forties ’40s and so we have Sunday dinners sometimes and we would come down here at AQ and that was a special thing that we would get to do,” Little said.
Little says she’s not quite ready to let the restaurant go. She has been visiting it since she was a kid.
“It’s just kind of hard to lose the old things. It’s good to have memories,” Little said.
For Sanders, goodbyes are never easy, but she considers it a pleasure to have served the Northwest Arkansas community for so many years.
“We are glad for all of their support and we are just as sad as they are that we’re at the end,” Sanders said.