Lee's in 1946, look closely and you can see the outdoor toilet to the right of the building
Lee Franks-Founder-Mid 1950's
Lee & Alice Franks purchased Al's Place a twelve seat beer joint in the Spring of 1945. The entire building was only the size of the bar area today and they specialized in deluxe grilled hamburgers and serving beer to thirsty golfers at the nearby Pioneers golf course. Desperate to find something else to bring people in Alice saw an ad for a tabletop deep fryer in a Sears catalog and they started serving french firesa novelty at the time. Some time later a customer came in and requested fried chicken so Alice went out back killed a chicken then cooked it using her family recipe from Louisiana. It was a huge hit and from this day on Lee's specialized in Southern Fried Chicken.
By 1952 Lee's seated 125 people plus could serve 200 vehicles outside with its car-hop service. The advent of carry-out and picnic style caterings became a huge hit. Lee's served on average 400 chicken dinners a day through the 1950's.
By the late 1960's there had been a total of eleven additons to the original structure including additonal seating, private party rooms, added kitchen space, and an apartment above the now famous reatuarant. The indoor seating had reached over 300 persons. On Husker football Saturdays Lee's would serve an average of 1000 hungry diners and use over 600 whole chickens.
In 1960 long-time managers Ozzie & Janice Wilcoxen purchased the restaurant and still own it to this day. Although being the second generation of owners as of 2019 they have owned Lee's longer than the original owners did. While Ozzie passed away a couple years back Janice is still involved in the daily management of the restaurant.
Lee's has remained succesful through the years for one simeple reason. We do everything the exact same way as it has been done since 1945. Many customers compliment to this day everything from the decor to the food & service are the same as 20,30,40 years ago and as Janice likes to say "that is the best compliment we can receive."