Saying Goodbye to a Joliet Institution: Chicken N Spice

If you are from Joliet, you know it and love it. If you are visiting Joliet and looking for restaurant recommendations, this is usually one of the first you’ll get from locals.

It’s the legendary Chicken-N-Spice in downtown Joliet…it will soon be gone forever!


At least Ken and Pat Reimer, the owners, are going out on their own terms. They are 81 and 78 respectively, and have decided to retire. Good for them!

Located on Chicago Street, Chicken-N-Spice has been dishing out perfectly-spicy and satisfyingly-crunchy chicken chunks for the last 42 years!

A “George and Eddie” (a few chunks, spicy rice and soft, flaky biscuits) made the perfect lunch if you ever found yourself downtown at the courthouse for some benign reason. Or a few chunks and some Jojo’s after a Slammers Game to munch on on your ride home.

Most of my latest Chicken N Spice expieriences have some out of their new-ish Shorewood location, which isn’t going anywhere — THANK GOD. Their Orland Park location is also staying put. As a matter of fact, they have announced another location popping up in New Lenox (it’s not clear on the address at this point).

The downtown Joliet location, which has been leased from Joliet Junior College since it’s inception, will again be taken over by JJC. Like many locations in various city centers, the building will be demolished and paved for more parking spaces to serve the college’s growing downtown campus.

Folks on social media are sharing their sadness!

Get your chunks while you can, friends! They will be open from 10-6 for the next week.

Tuesday, September 14th will be the last day, and it will be a celebration with “chicken, cake and camaraderie.”

On September 15th Chicken N Spice will be no more.

It’s been a hell of a run! Thanks to the Reimers for making downtown Joliet a few chunks better!