Our story started back in 1961

A brief history of
Pioneer Chicken's
Past, Present & Future

1961
Pioneer Takeout, founded by Rick Kaufman, opens its first location next to Pioneer Market in Echo Park, Los Angeles, marking the beginning of Pioneer Chicken's journey
1970-1975
Pioneer Chicken experiences rapid growth, expanding to 100 locations primarily in Southern and Northern California, gaining popularity for its delicious fried chicken
1976
Pioneer Chicken opens a location in Honolulu, Hawaii
1975
Orange Whip becomes the official drink of Pioneer Chicken
1977
Pioneer Chicken wins medals at the California State Fair, solidifying its status as a Los Angeles fried chicken icon
1977
Pioneer Chicken releases the famous Pioneer Strips, in a commercial alongside Muhamad Ali
1980
The first issue of the popular children’s comics “The Adventures of Pioneer Pete” is released,further expanding the Pioneer Chicken Universe
1981
Pioneer Fish n' Chips meal is introduced with Kareem Abdul Jabbar
1985
Pioneer Chicken appears in DeBarge's "Rhythm of the Night" music video
1987
Pioneer Chicken is featured in the intro of popular sitcom, "Full House"
1989
Pioneer Chicken reaches its peak, expanding to 270 locations. Most located in the West Coast.
1990
Pioneer Chicken partners with Universal Studios to promote King Kong's new ride "Kongfrontation"
1996
Pioneer Chicken faced a pivotal moment when it was acquired by a larger franchise. Unfortunately, most of its 270 locations had to close, but two resilient locations in Boyle Heights and Bell Gardens chose to carry on the legacy, preserving the brand's unique taste and traditions for future generations to enjoy.
2000s
Pioneer Chicken is missed by many, its history found in museums across southern california and remembered in the hearts of fans
2021
Pioneer Chicken embraces the digital age by establishing a social media presence, reconnecting with a wider audience after 24 years. Pioneer makes a strong comeback, going viral with collaborations and partnerships, including notable ones with Food Beast, LAinaMinute and LAtryguy.
2023
Pioneer Chicken returns to the festival scene, making an appearance at Tenderfest, its first festival presence in over 30 years.
...And it's just the beggining