Lee’s Famous Recipe closes unexpectedly; Employees want answers

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Employees at Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken in Lexington are confused and frustrated after they showed up for work and the doors were locked.

There are three locations in Lexington and each one had a sign that said “closed for renovations”.

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Employees said they were unaware of any closings.

Nicole Burnam is the assistant manager at Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken on Boardwalk in Lexington.

She says she woke up to phone calls early Thursday morning from employees who wanted to know why the business was closed. Burnam says she wasn’t aware of any closings.



“I closed last night. No one told me nothing,” said Nicole Burnam, Assistant Manager.

Employees say they don’t know if they have a job or if they will even get paid. Employees tell ABC36 they were supposed to get paychecks on Thursday.

“I need my money. I don’t care about their business and what’s going on with that. I just need to know what I need to do for these employees for them to get their money,” said Burnam.

Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken is a chain, but the restaurants have franchise owners who operate independently.

The owner of the three Lexington businesses, Whitney Foods, has only left the sign for information.

ABC36 reached out to the corporate office and it said, “We were saddened to learn that an operator of Lee’s Famous Recipe® Chicken has closed three stores in Lexington, Kentucky. We regret the impact this will have on the employees and the Lexington community. These stores are independently owned and operated.”

ABC36 repeatedly reached out to the owner at Whitney Foods through phone calls, messages, and social media. We have not heard back.