When one chicken joint closes, another opens.

That's how the saying goes, right?

If you haven't checked in on your local Facebook groups lately-- grab your popcorn! You know how it is when a local restaurant closes; especially when it's a fast food joint.

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The recent and sudden closing of several KFC restaurants throughout West Michigan has kicked the local rumor mill into high gear. Everyone wants to know: Now that KFC is gone, what's next?

Thankfully, it doesn't seem like we'll have to wait much longer for the answer.

Google Maps/Canva
Google Maps/Canva

What Happened?

In early August KFC restaurants across West Michigan began quietly closing. My feed was full of "Is KFC closed?" posts; inquiring minds wanted to know what was going on!

KFCs in Three Rivers, Gull Road in Kalamazoo, and one restaurant just south of Grand Rapids have all shuttered their doors. Now, we're not sure why they closed but if you take a look at these stores' Google reviews you can probably fathom a guess.

So, What's Next?

Now nearby residents have noticed some recent changes to the exteriors of the now-closed restaurants. Are they preparing to fill the space already? West Michigan resident Heather Massengill recently posted in the Three Rivers, Michigan Area Information group,

KFC building is being painted...Anyone have any good gossip on what may be going in there?

Spill the tea! Here's what locals are speculating:

  • "IF KFC is re-opening it will also be an A&W. They have one on the north side of Grand Rapids. 2 food lines in the kitchen - one makes KFC and the other A&W. Only one checkout stand for both (they are owned by the same company)" - Randi Witek
  • "Rumors are going around saying that the old car wash on gull road may be a Popeyes Chicken and the old KFC on gull road may become a Chic Fil A... either way, I'd welcome both!" - Heather Soakho
  • "Someone mentioned it's going to be a new drivers training company called Lillywhite, Longacre and McDonough." - Jonathon Knox
Google Maps/Canva
Google Maps/Canva

Of course others chimed in with the obvious: Dollar General, dispensary, bank, Spirit Halloween, etc.

The buildings have reportedly been painted white for now. I guess once some color starts to appear we'll know the answer once and for all!

What would YOU like to see fill the former KFCs of West Michigan?

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