The Secret To Longevity From One Of San Diegos Oldest Restaurants
In San Diegos North Park neighborhood theres a restaurant known for its homemade savory and sweet pies. San Diego Chicken Pie Shop is celebrating 81 years in operation. The restaurant first opened its doors in 1938. At that time the U.S. was in the middle of the Great Depression and Franklin D. Roosevelt was president.
Over the years, the Chicken Pie Shop has made some changes. In the early 1990s, it moved from Hillcrest to North Park and the Townsend family purchased the restaurant from the original owner George Whitehead.
Today, when you enter the restaurant, you are greeted by a colorful chicken the first chicken owners Bob and Lisa Townsend say they purchased. The other ceramic and glass chickens on display are gifts from customers.
The modern world has caught up with the Chicken Pie Shop through marketing on social media and the ability to purchase products online. There are even plans to cater to the community’s outdoor dining trend by constructing an outdoor patio.
Still, the Townsend’s say the old school San Diego feel will remain.
Lisa Townsend says not changing the recipe is why customers keep coming back.
Flying The Coop : Chicken Pie Shop Forced To Leave Hillcrest After 52 Years
For half a century, Elizabeth Henry, 89, has been an eager diner at theSan Diego Chicken Pie Shop. Most mornings of the year, she boards a bus near her home in Normal Heights and rides to the corner of Fifth and Robinson in Hillcrest.
She enters a cafe where the line sometimes extends out the door and where the decor is one-of-a-kind kitsch . Ceramic and glass chickens line the shelves. Most of the art work is what the owner calls chicken mosaics”–multicolored beans arranged to look like chickens cooped in a wooden frame.
And, of course, the food on peoples plates is chicken.
Henry usually orders the pie dinner, a blend of chicken and turkey in gravy, wrapped in a double-crusted shell and complemented with whipped potatoes, carrots, cole slaw, a hot roll with butter and, of course, fruit pie for dessert–all for $3.20.
Contrary to rumor, owner George Whitehead says reports of the pie shops death are greatly exaggerated. The shop is being forced to move and by July will have abandoned its Hillcrest corner, a neighborhood fixture since it opened across the street in 1938.
Until Wednesday, Henry was not aware of the change, nor was a sizable chunk of the elderly clientele.
Why, I guess Ill just have to pick myself up and go to the new place! she said with enthusiasm.
But he also sees the cons, and feels a bittersweet nostalgia at having to leave a home of 52 years.
Dows said new businesses are
Press Release: Senate Leader Atkins Names Chicken Pie Shop Small Business Of The Year
SACRAMENTO Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins this week named the San Diego Chicken Pie Shop as Small Business of the Year for 2019 in District 39.
The Townsend family has made the Chicken Pie Shop an institution in San Diego, Atkins said. It has thrived for eight decades because it adheres to several core principles: high-quality product, first-rate customer service and an undeniable sense of community. Theres a reason Ive held more than a few lunch meetings at this wonderful restaurant.
Senator Atkins will honor the San Diego Chicken Pie Shop, along with many other outstanding small businesses located in the 39th Senate District, on Saturday, June 22, during a reception in San Diego.
When you look at the 3.9 million small businesses in California, and the 7 million jobs they create, and the more than $65 billion in exports they generate, its pretty hard to find another way to say it: Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, Atkins said. Its important to say thank you to the people who contribute so much to our communities and our state.
Senator Atkins hosted Chicken Pie Shop co-owner Bob Townsend during California Small Business Day festivities at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento on Wednesday, June 19.
The San Diego Chicken Pie Shop, located at 2633 El Cajon Blvd. in North Park, has been specializing in chicken and turkey pies for 81 years.
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The Townsend family has made the Chicken Pie Shop an institution in San Diego, Atkins said in a press release Friday. It has thrived for eight decades because it adheres to several core principles: high-quality product, first-rate customer service and an undeniable sense of community.
Atkins added that shes a fan of the Pie Shop, too, having held more than a few lunch meetings there over the years.
Atkins hosted Bob Townsend during California Small Business Day in Sacramento this past Wednesday. There, the co-owner of the Pie Shop took a photo with the senate leader, beaming. Townsend received a plaque detailing the Small Business of the Year honor bestowed on his family’s business.
The San Diego staple has been around since 1938. It was originally located at 5th Avenue and B Street before moving over to the uptown area where it now stands at 2633 El Cajon Blvd.
The San Diego Chicken Pie Shop serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, but is best known for its savory chicken and turkey pies, and its World Famous Chicken Pie Dinner: chicken, turkey and gravy served with whipped mash potatoes, veggies, coleslaw, a roll and dessert.
The eatery is also a standout when it comes to reasonable prices even in 2019 with nothing on the menu thats over $14.99. Last year, to the Pie Shop offered a chicken pie dinner for just $3.80.
Bob Townsend, in a press release Friday, attributed the success of his familys business to sticking to what our customers want.
The One And Only Chicken Pie Shop
It’s a legend, a landmark, and a lifestyle all rolled into one. It lurks in its nondescript building along the Boulevard like a fortress, dark and forbidding, potentially filled with hidden treasure. Established in 1938, it is the San Diego Chicken Pie Shop and it is everything the stories say and more.
Serving up meals straight from the set of Mad Men, the CPS is a haven for the AARP crowd who like to dine early and dine cheaply. It’s the perfect place to take Grandma for an early bird dinner, but where is it written that Grandma gets to have all the fun?
It is not.
Chicken Pie is retro cool to a spectacular degree. It’s unpretentious in the extreme and targeting a demographic that’s as far removed from the hip North Park restaurant scene as possible, which is precisely the reason to get deep into some old school grub.
Is the food good? Well, that depends. It is what it is and it’s got that vintage feel.
It’s like eating a ’57 Stratocaster, except thousands of dollars cheaper and far more nutritive. If you have to ask, you probably won’t get it.
Witness the Famous Chicken Pie Dinner. For $7.50, it contains everything. An individual pot pie stuffed with chicken, turkey, and gravy that’s fantastically unadorned. The crust is very short and rich, and the filling is chock full of dark meat. Smothered in gravy, it’s completely satisfying.
An entire fruit pie costs $5.85. ‘Nuff said.
Chicken Pie Shop
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San Diego Chicken Pie Shop
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About the Business
San Diego Chicken Pie Shop is famous for our delicious pot pies stuffed with chicken, turkey and smothered in gravy.
Do they have a vegetarian option for pot pies?
Their pot pies are 100 percent chicken and turkey inside. I’ve never seen a vegetarian option.
Does the chicken pie have vegetables in it?
No, the pot pie only has a blend of chicken, turkey, & gravy inside the pie. Veggies come on the side . All of which can be substituted or not served at all ifmore
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