EDITOR'S NOTE: This story is in response to a reader-submitted question through Open Source, a platform where readers can submit questions to the staff.
MOUNT VERNON – The short answer? No.
At least not yet.
Rumors have swirled for months that one of Ohio’s largest chicken chains is coming to Mount Vernon. Company and city officials told Knox Pages those rumors are currently false – however, that may change.
“As much as we would love for this rumor to be true, unfortunately, at this time it is not,” Roosters spokesperson Teresa Maynard said in an email. “We definitely hope to add a Mount Vernon location at some point in the future though.”
“They’re a well-respected restaurant and we’d love to have them here when they determine the market would be able to support them,” Mount Vernon Mayor Matt Starr added. “We’d always welcome them to town if they choose to come here.”
Rumors heated up Feb. 25, when Starr discussed the possibility of Roosters coming to Mount Vernon on WQIO. The radio station reportedly asked Starr whether or not Roosters would be filling the former Jake’s Steakhouse or Hardee’s locations on Coshocton Avenue.
It’s unclear exactly how Starr answered the question; what is clear, however, is that confusion ensued shortly thereafter.
Community members began posting on Facebook that Starr had confirmed Roosters’ arrival. Some local media outlets printed similar reports.
Starr said later that he “was only commenting on a rumor,” and those rumors remain untrue.
“Maybe I wasn’t clear about it,” he reflected. “No one that I know of from the city has spoken with Roosters."
Jake’s Steakhouse closed its doors in September, and Hardee’s shut down in January. Both are located across the street from Buffalo Wild Wings, which would be one of Roosters’ main competitors if it were to come to Mount Vernon.
Roosters began in Dayton in 1988 and has since expanded to four states – Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia and Indiana. 31 of the chain’s 42 restaurants are located in Ohio, with most in the central and southwest parts of the state. The nearest locations to Mount Vernon are Newark and Mansfield.
While Roosters is known for its wings, its menu also features pizza, subs, sandwiches, and an array of appetizers.