Guthrie's is a fast-food chain specializing in "golden fried" fried chicken fingers.
The first Guthrie's Restaurant was a full service location founded by Hal and Melissa Guthrie in 1965 in Haleyville on the Marion and Winston County line. They added fried chicken fingers to the menu in 1978, accompanied by a signature sauce created by then 10-year old Hud Guthrie.
Hud's older brother, Chris, led the expansion of the chain and the focus on chicken fingers and their signature dipping sauce. The company's first fast-food location in Auburn, opened in 1982, was a smash hit and led to additional locations, mainly in college towns. Graduates fueled the expansion of the chain to larger metropolitan areas. The first Birmingham District location was opened in Gardendale in 1997. The family began selling franchises in 2005 and by 2007 had than 50 locations.
A typical Guthrie's location has a minimalist menu, offering chicken fingers on a standard plate with french fries, toast and coleslaw. Some locations also serve salads or breakfast biscuits. Most locations feature carpeted dining areas and a large aquarium with tropical fish.
In early 2008 10 Guthrie's restaurants owned by Hud Guthrie, Jr, were bought out of insolvency by WSKG Restaurant Investors, a 7-member partnership. The group planned to double the number of locations to 20 within three years and to add grilled chicken sandwiches and salads to the menu. Five of the 10 locations sold were in the Birmingham area. Another, near the UAB campus, is owned by another franchisee. All five locations would be closed by 2012.
A "Guthrie's To-Go" location was opened at 1104 North Chalkville Road in Trussville on May 14, 2015, with no dine-in service. The to-go concept was also opened on Palisades Boulevard in Homewood on July 5, 2016.
Hal Guthrie died in October 2019. Melissa died in November 2021.
Birmingham area locations
- 1801 4th Avenue South, UAB 4th Avenue Parking Deck
- 341 Palisades Boulevard, Homewood
- 1104 North Chalkville Road, Trussville
- 821 U.S. Highway 78, Jasper (owned by John Dyer, Scott Dyer & Tracy Wright)
- 39 Horse Creek Boulevard, Dora (opened August 2022 by John Dyer, Scott Dyer & Tracy Wright)
- 1189 Center Point Parkway, Center Point (closed August 2008)
- 1548 Montclair Road, Birmingham
- 600 Fieldstown Road, Gardendale
- 1817 Montgomery Highway, Hoover
- 4505 Riverview Parkway, Inverness
- 613 Old Montgomery Highway, Vestavia Hills
- Hubbard, Russell (January 13, 2008) "Birminham's Guthrie's restaurants have new owners." [sic] The Birmingham News
- Buttram, Scott (May 14, 2015) "Guthrie’s opens in Trussville." Trussville Tribune
- Cromwell, Sydney (July 1, 2016) "Guthrie's Chicken opens this week." The Homewood Star
- Thornton, William (August 17, 2022) "Guthrie’s opening new location in Walker County." The Birmingham News
- Guthrie's website