Cus­tomers pack Chicken Pie Shop to say fi­nal good­bye

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Front Page - BY BRYANT-JON ANTEOLA bjan­te­[email protected]­

Grand­marie’s Chicken Pie Shop is re­ceiv­ing quite the farewell.

Since Mon­day’s news that the iconic restau­rant in the Tower District was closing for good af­ter Sun­day, cus­tomers have formed long lines out the door and packed the place daily.

So much so that the Chicken Pie Shop sold out of food and closed the restau­rant by 1 p.m. each of the past two days (it usu­ally closes at 7 p.m.)

And the restau­rant is no longer sell­ing chicken pot pies, ex­cept to cus­tomers who pre-or­dered them ear­lier in the week.

An em­ployee at the Chicken Pie Shop said they’ve made 4,000 pies just this week.

“They closed the din­ing room and I walked out with the last 4 pies I will ever have,” wrote Fres­nan Christo­pher Clark on Face­book. “Th­ese 4 pies are con­sid­ered the golden tick­ets of Fresno right now.

“This re­ally sucks ..... ” Sev­eral oth­ers took to so­cial me­dia to ex­press sad­ness about the Chicken Pie Shop closing. It’s been around since 1946, in­clud­ing its Olive Av­enue lo­ca­tion since 1956.

“A dark day in the his­tory of Craig,” wrote Craig Noblett on Face­book. “A fix­ture of my child­hood, not to men­tion the home of the best chicken pies in the world is closing its doors af­ter 63 years . ...

“Chicken Pie Shop — you will be greatly missed!”

“Lunch date with my mom,” wrote Fres­nan Mark Tucker. “Last time to Chicken Pie Shop. End of an era.

“At least they’re packed!”

The re­cent boom in busi­ness did have some won­der­ing if owner Gary Ross planned to change his mind about closing.

But em­ploy­ees at the restau­rant said they doubt it.

The Chicken Pie Shop is closing for sev­eral rea­sons in­clud­ing that the 72-yearold owner wants to re­tire and spend more time with his grand­chil­dren.

He doesn’t own the build­ing, but the busi­ness is for sale, just as it was for a bit in 2018. And em­ploy­ees said there has been talk of some­one buy­ing the Chicken Pie Shop’s recipes, though it’s un­clear if any­one has made any se­ri­ous in­quires.

JOHN WALKER [email protected]­

One of the last golden-brown chicken pies served up, March 26, from The Chicken Pie Shop, which will close af­ter decades in the Tower District.

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