Church’s Chicken In Delmar Loop Closes

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UNIVERSITY CITY, MO (KTVI)-- Usually when a fast food restaurant opens, people get excited.  But with Church`s Chicken closing its Delmar Loop location, some people couldn't be happier.

"I`m doing a dance about what it could look like on that corner," said Blueberry Hill owner Joe Edwards, who owns many other buildings in the Loop.

"Within a year or two I expect to see a new building up there," Edwards said. "It`s my guess, but it is not my property so I cannot say for sure."

The closing happened suddenly over the weekend, leaving customers like Joanie Purnell surprised to pull into the lot and find their favorite chicken restaurant had taken wing.

"I am really disappointed because I just pulled up here to get a few little pieces of chicken to go for lunch," Purnell said.

A lot of people have been calling Edwards assuming he bought the property, but he did not. He is, however very happy to see it go, especially with Washington University building new housing and retail just down the street, and construction of  the Loop Trolley said to be just around the corner.

"I think it`s a wonderful opportunity for the owners of the property to build new mixed use building on that corner and bring it out to the sidewalk," Edwards said. "It was inevitable it would happen someday and I think is a step toward that direction."

And many feel it`s a step in the right direction because in recent years the parking lot had become a hangout for teenagers, who sometimes went on to cause problems in the Loop.

Wednesday afternoon, a crew from Texas arrived and started pulling out the appliances. Whatever is happening to the building seems to be happening fast.

Something else happening is drivers using the parking lot as a cut through to avoid the stoplight at Skinker and Delmar.  St. Louis Alderman Lyda Crewson says she has contacted the city streets department to do something to keep the lot from functioning as a drive-thru.

We were unable to reach the property owner for a comment, and a spokesperson for Church's Chicken never called us back.

"I`m very disappointed," Purnell said. "Everybody loves chicken."

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