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World’s First KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken)

It all started here at 3890 South State in Salt Lake City, Utah, the first home of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

In 1941 Leon W. “Pete” Harman and Arline Harman purchased the “Do Drop Inn” at 3890 South State.

Pete met the Colonel and a few years later in 1952, Harman’s became the first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise.

Pete’s innovative ideas, charming nature, and love for the restaurant business have resulted in Harman’s Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants growing from just one to over 300.

Pete and Arline’s joy comes from watching people grow and experience success.

The Do Drop Inn is where it all began in 1941. Pete and Arline Harman purchased this hamburger stand in Salt Lake City, Utah for $700.00. The restaurant was ironically white with red trim around the windows, with only eight bar stools, five booths, a gravel drive-up and an outhouse. Hamburgers were two for fifteen cents and a draft beer was a dime. Sales were only $14 the first day, and it got worse.

Determined to make their restaurant a success, Pete and Arline remodeled their restaurant several times and put in 1951, they tore down the original Do Drop Inn, built a new restaurant in its place, and never closed for a day! The new restaurant continued the curb service, had an additional 100 seats inside and announced a new name, Harman Cafe. The 50’s were prosperous years for Pete and Arline.

Pete Harman met Colonel Harland Sanders while attending a restaurant short course at the University of Chicago in 1951. The next year, on a trip to visit Pete and Arline in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Colonel cooked them dinner at Harman Cafe.

The entree that evening was the Colonel’s secret recipe for chicken, cooked under pressure with 11 herbs and spices. Pete and Arline knew the dinner was something special and they added it to their menu the next day, calling it Kentucky Fried Chicken.

This is a rendering of the original Do Drop Inn in Salt Lake City, Utah as it appeared in 1941.

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