Brown’s Chicken may taste better, but it’s no longer available anywhere in Indiana.

The 67-year-old fried chicken chain, which was widely popular in the Chicago area in the 1970s and 1980s, has closed its last remaining location in Northwest Indiana. A Brown’s Chicken & Pasta restaurant at 8845 Indianapolis Boulevard shuttered after the franchisee lost a lease, company spokesman Tim Kennefick said. It had been on the boulevard since at least the 1990s.

Brown’s Chicken & Pasta was known for deep-fried mushrooms, a 1989 commercial starring actor Steve Carell, and its buttermilk-fried cholesterol-free chicken that “tastes better,” according to the jingle on television. It also catered and served family-style pasta dishes, Italian beef sandwiches, Italian sausage, Chicago dogs, corn fritters and atomic cake.

At one time, Brown’s also had restaurants in Hammond and Merrillville.

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The Chicago-based company had more than 100 locations until most closed after the infamous Brown’s Chicken massacre in 1993 in Palatine, where robbers bound seven people in a walk-in freezer and murdered them.

Now Brown’s has about 25 restaurants left, mostly in the Chicago suburbs. The closest is in Chicago Heights.

Spokeswoman Maria Torres said that the Highland franchisee might look for a new location in the area but that nothing was official at this time.

Several signs posted on the Highland restaurant say the building is for lease and, if interested, to call (219) 746-3790.


Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.