A Chicago staple cuisine known for its irresistible fried chicken is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Harold’s Chicken Shack, which opened on Chicago’s South Side nearly eight decades ago, became an immediate success when Harold Pierce and his wife left Alabama for Chicago in the 1940s and started their business, serving their famous fried chicken feet.

Kristen Pierce, who now serves as the restaurant chain’s CEO, is carrying on her father’s legacy after he died of prostate cancer in 1988.

“My father was a young Black man from the South with a dream,” Kristen said in an interview with ABC 7. “He worked hard during a time when African Americans weren’t capable of obtaining any businesses or funding. And his hard work paid off.”

Harold’s Chicken Shack, which continues to lure customers with its fried chicken dipped in its signature mild sauce, has expanded to 41 locations nationwide. The locations include Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix and St. Louis.

“Whenever we go out of town and we say were from Chicago, they say, ‘Do you know about Harold’s chicken?'” Kristen said. “It’s a part of Chicago.”

The popular mild sauce, which is now a mix of ketchup, barbecue sauce and hot sauce, has been altered since it was first introduced.

“When I was a kid, you know, the mild sauce was only ketchup and hot sauce,” Kristen said. “Then, we had an idea to mix hot sauce and some things together, and we created the mild sauce.”

Kristen runs the business with the help of her husband Vincent Sherrod. Naturally, she grew up working at the restaurant.

“We learned the business at a young age,” she said. “We’re not corporate-owned. We are completely a family-run business.”

Harold’s, which has served celebrities such as Lupe Fiasco and Chance The Rapper, is still going strong without much marketing.

“We’ve never done commercials,” Kristen said. “That goes back to my dad. He wanted everything to be word of mouth. And when you hear all those rappers mentioning Harold’s, that’s all word of mouth, too.”

She added, “We have license agreements. We form a partnership with the people who operate all of our restaurants. They get to use the Harold’s name and everything associated with Harold’s.”

As the business prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary in September with a special event, Kristen reflects on how far the restaurant has come so far and is already thinking ahead.

“We’re hoping the business will last for our grandkids and great-grandkids,” Kristen said. “Whenever I pass by Harold’s, you know, I had [contemplated] a few times of selling. And what changed my mind was I rather say ‘There is my Dad.’ Then, ‘there goes my Dad.’ That’s keeping a part of my dad alive.”