Go Where Everybody Knows Your Name

An Algiers favorite, Chubbie’s Chicken is under new ownership, but the restaurant’s solid, four-decades-long reputation isn’t going anywhere.

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Chubbie’s Fried Chicken
4850 General Meyer Ave.
(504) 392-2377 //

For 41 years, most of the customers at Chubbie’s Chicken have been greeted by their names when they walk through the door. Rather than having to place their order, the staff simply confirms it for them.

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But according to owner Ursula Newell-Davis, the connection goes even deeper than that.

“A lot of people in the neighborhood worked here in high school,” she said. “For many of them it was their first job.”

Newell-Davis used to eat at Chubbie’s when she was growing up nearby, and when the place came up for sale a little over a year ago, she said the decision to purchase it was a natural. Newell-Davis is a social worker when she is not working at the restaurant, and she sees a direct connection between her two careers in the importance of getting to know people and taking care of them.

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Taking this one step further, some of her patients are on the autism spectrum, as well as one of her sons, and beginning this summer, Newell-Davis will be hiring some special-needs people for her staff.

“It takes a little extra time to train them,” she said, “but I am willing to take that time, because people with special needs often work harder.”

The staff at Chubbie’s Chicken is now 11 people, up from seven when Newell-Davis took over. But as is the case for so many restaurants, staffing is the biggest issue right now. She recruits with everything from signs in the window to social media postings, reaching the 7,200 new Facebook followers she has attracted in the past year.

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“We get a lot of local businesspeople and even politicians in here,” she said.

Chubbie’s is known for its fried chicken, but also serves seafood plates, gumbo and poor boys. In addition, there are daily lunch specials, all served hot, fresh and with an obvious dose of TLC.

Inside the restaurant is a small, casual dining area. Many customers order food to go, either inside or through the drive-up window. That window was a lifeline for Chubbie’s during COVID-19; before the dining room re-opened, the drive-up line sometimes stretched as far as a block away.

Since taking ownership of a neighborhood institution, Newell-Davis was not intent on making many changes, but she has tweaked a few things, like opening one more day per week and extending the hours of operation. But mostly, she is simply maintaining what has worked well for over four decades.

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