The Davis Bros. chain was founded by Stanley Reginald 'Tubby' Davis when he was just 23 years old using $1,800.00 to open an eatery near the Piedmont Hotel on Luckie Street in Atlanta, Georgia in 1939.
Later his growing hospitality endevor provided food service to the prestigious Piedmont and other Atlanta area hotels establishing a reputation of satisfaction and quality service epitomized with the motto, "If you are not a satisfied customer, then the check is on the house."

RIGHT: Postcard of The Piedmont Hotel
Following a stint in the United States Navy during WWII, Tubby Davis opened several restaurants and branched out into Atlanta's growing suburbs before spreading his chain of cafeterias and motor lodges across the Southeast from Florida to Tennessee.
About at its peak in the 1980s, the Davis Bros. chain boasted 15 cafeterias, 12 smorgasbords, one restaurant, four in-plant food service operations, and 14 motor lodges.

ABOVE & BELOW: Postcard of Davis Bros. "Suburban" Restaurant, Albany Georgia
LEFT: Matchbook promoting dining out
The Big Chicken as it is affectionately known was built in 1963 to advertise one of Davis' restaurants and is believed to have been inspired by his wife, Lillie Belle Holley Davis, whom he described upon meeting her as "The prettiest cashier in Atlanta".
The restaurant was originally named Johnny Reb's Chick-Chuck-'N'-Shake, and was sold in 1966 to A. T. Davis, Tubby's brother, who became a franchisee of Col. Harlan Sanders' Kentucky Fried Chicken.

RIGHT & BELOW: Marietta's Big Chicken in 1999
The Big Chicken was severely damaged by a storm in the early 1990s and its revival and survival was uncertain. But a "Save the Chicken" campaign ensued with KFC being inundated with thousands of calls in favor of restoring and retaining the beloved landmark. Thus KFC is believed to have spent upwards of $200,000.00 in 1993 to make Marietta's most famous beacon and landmark Big Chicken better than new!
Further recognizing the Big Chicken's iconic status, KFC committed to a complete overhaul and expansion of the restaurant costing upwards of $2 million. A grand reopening and dedication of the Marietta landmark was set for May 11, 2017.
Although Mr. Davis died at 80 years of age in 1996 and the Davis Bros. empire is no more, his legacy lives on as a 56-foot tall metal chicken with rolling eyes and clucking beak in Marietta, Georgia!

Visit the Big Chicken on Facebook and on Blogspot for more!

ABOVE & RIGHT: Directory circa 1970sD

 Locations with known Addresses:
Bartow, Florida: 1035 N. Broadway Ave.
Albany: 101 N Slappy Dr., 714 Oglethorpe Ave., 236 Pine St .
Atlanta area: 3527 Memorial Dr. 642 Lee St.  
  820 West Peachtree St. 2935 N Druid Hills Rd. 2975 Bolton Rd.
  104 Luckie St. 101 Forsyth St. 110 Forsyth St.
  2631 Buford Highway NE. 100 Edgewood Ave NE. 2034 Lawrenceville Hwy.
  6437 Jonesboro Rd. 51 N U.S. 41  
Macon: 1990 Riverside Dr. Oak Ridge Tennessee: 255 Main St East. Orlando, Fla: 6603 International Dr
Tifton: 1008 W 8th St. Valdosta: 1209 St Augustine Rd.

LEFT & ABOVE: Happy Cafeteria patrons ca. 1970s

 References and Sources:
Best Western's website accessed May 2, 2017.
Buerkle, Dick, "Reggie D. Reacts to Restaurant Market Changes." The Atlanta Journal Constitution August 14, 1986 Clayton Edition, Extra I/23.
-------------"Forst Park to require farmers' market licenses." The Atlanta Constitution December 10, 1987 Local News B/2.
Cieland-Pero, Cathy, "S. R. Davis, creator of Big Chicken, dies - Restauranteur was proud of landmark." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution September 12, 1996 Extra G/3.
Davis Bros. directory and advertising brochure 1973.
Davis Bros. directory and advertising brochure circa 1975.
Duke, Lynn N., "Davis Brothers Cafeteria Closes Chapter in History; The End of an Era." The Ledger July 2, 1996 Business E/1.
Fowler, Bob, Knoxville News Sentinel July 20, 2016.
Higley, Jeff, "Aquisitions." Hotel & Motel Management 219.21 Page 20. December 13, 2004.
Long, Delores, "The cafeteria market: slow but steady." Restaurant Business; Page 85. July 20,1986.
M Hotel's website accessed May 2, 2017.
Marietta's website accessed May 2, 2017.
North DeKalb Mall's website accessed May 2, 2017.
Plummer, Don, "Marietta's landmark Big Chicken, stripped of its sheet-metal feathers, - awaits a decision Tuesday by Kentucky Fried Chicken: rebuilt it or wreck - it? Big Chicken to go?." The Atlanta Journal Constitution January 24, 1993 Local News D/4.
Powell, Kay, "Lillie Davis, Inspired Big Chicken." The Atlanta-Journal Constitution November 21, 2002Metro News F/6.
Quick Shot Shooting Range's website accessed May 2, 2017
Roadside America's website accessed May 2, 2017.
Schottelkotte, Suze, " Motel Overbuilt Originally, but Bartow growth catching up; ahead of the curve; Polk's business heritage - Davis Bros. Motor Lodge." The Ledger June 29, 2000 Business E/1.
----------------------, "After 37 years in Bartow, the Davis Brothers Motor Lodge is checking out." The Ledger October 30, 2009.
Scott, Kelliegh, " Stanley Reginald Davis, 80, established cafeteria chain." The Atlanta Constitution September 5, 1996 Local News B/6.
staff, "Country musician returning to OR for concert." Knoxville News Sentinel June 16, 2002 AC/5.
staff, "Man dies after jumping from hotel to pool deck." Orlando Sentinel October 1, 1985 Local/State B/2.
staff, "News in Brief." Ocala Star Banner May 20, 1991 Business 4.
staff, "Ups and downs of the restaurant business." Macon Telegraph March 21, 2008.
Wikipedia's website accessed May 2, 2017.
Wikipedia's website accessed May 2, 2017.
Wikipedia's website accessed May 2, 2017.
Wikipedia's website accessed May 2, 2017.
You Tube's website accessed May 2, 2017.

The purpose of this site is informational. It is neither commercial nor representative of any brand, company, or business. Any trade names, trademarks, etc. that are depicted remain the property of their respective owners. Please contact this site's owner prior to reproducing any part of it. Works from contributors (includes photographs, ephemera, etc.) lent to and any of its affiliated sites may not be reproduced without their consent.