Everyone visiting Atlanta seems to be on a mission to visit Gladys Knight Chicken and Waffles. While it certainly has a famous founder and some decent chicken and waffles, if you want to experience something with historical significance, visit Paschal’s in Castleberry Hill.
Since 1947, James and Robert Paschal, the founders of Atlanta’s historic Paschal’s Restaurant, have been serving the Atlanta community. James began his career at 13, with a shoeshine stand, and Robert, began working at a restaurant where his love of the food industry began.
The\ first of the brothers’ restaurants had humble beginnings. It was a small 30-seat lunch restaurant, with no stove. The food was prepared at Robert’s home and transported to the restaurant. Shortly after, they expanded to serve dinner, with fried chicken being a signature menu item. Still popular today, Paschal’s fried chicken recipe remains a secret.
As their popularity increased, the brothers decided to open Le Carrousel Lounge in 1960. It was considered Atlanta’s jazz mecca for more than a decade. Le Carrousel Lounge featured acts like Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, Dizzy Gillespie and more.
But the brothers strived to support the community with more than phenomenal food. During the 1960s, they became very involved in the Civil Rights movement. Paschal’s became a meeting place for civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. The brothers regularly posted bond for arrested protestors.
Their service to the Atlanta community has garnered many Hall of Fame awards for the brothers. In 2002, they relocated Paschal’s to the glamorous building on Northside Drive in Castleberry Hill. The two-story expansive dining room has several pictures of civil rights leaders adorning its walls. There are several private dining rooms and a re-created Le Carrousel Lounge, perfect for any reception, gala, or upscale business luncheon. If you can’t make it out to Paschal’s restaurant, they also can be found in several locations within the Atlanta Airport.
Begin your evening with The Legacy cocktail, a key ingredient being sweet tea. This is the south, after all. I’d skip the starters, with the exception of the Catfish fingers. They were fantastic. But seriously, skip them too if you think you may order the fried chicken. This signature dish, available since 1947, and the most popular, comes with a leg, wing and huge chicken breast. Although a bit pricey, at $17 for the entree, it was juicy and filling. Save room for Paschal’s Peach Cobbler – some of the best in Atlanta. Paschal’s is the perfect spot to celebrate Black History Month.
180 Northside Drive
Atlanta, GA 30313