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Whit’s Chic revives business in familiar location

VALLEY — Tucked away in the former mill village of Fairfax, a former business is giving it another go with hopes of providing a family-style atmosphere and good food.

Whit Bradley Jr., has revived Whit’s Chic, after his father started the business about 40 years ago. The business had a soft opening Friday afternoon. Bradley said the restaurant prides itself on its chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs and vegetables.

“I just wanted to bring it back, and we didn’t want this building to sit here,” Bradley said. “This place is part of the community. There isn’t anywhere else on this end of town to sit down and eat.”

The business is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Bradley said the restaurant will also make a family dinner from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoons and will cater chicken dinners for churches on Sunday. He will also deliver meals to plants nearby in Fairfax but will not deliver to individual homes.

Bradley said Whit’s Chic started in West Point at the current location of Chic Delight. He said it was Big Chic at the time, but his father changed the name to Whit’s Chic. Eventually, the business grew to two locations, the one in West Point and a location in Fairfax.

After several years, the original owners of Sue’s Chic bought the business and changed the name. Since then, the company has changed hands several times. Most recently, the owner of Sue’s, Chic Robert Cox, moved to the business from the current location of Whit’s Chic to downtown West Point. However, that business announced it was closing on July 4 on social media, citing health concerns.Bradley said keeping the legacy of the business alive was important to him, and seeing the 100-year-old building empty was heartbreaking.

“Everything was already here,” he said. “All we had to do is come in and clean it up.”

Bradley said his father, the original Whit Bradley, currently resides in the Arbor Springs Health-Rehab Center in Opelika. Bradley said when the business hosts a grand opening, he would like to see his father in the building to see the rebirth of the business he built almost 40 years ago.

Whit’s chicken recipe may seem familiar to some who frequent Big Chic restaurants in Georgia. Bradley said when the business started, his father had to buy the formula from the owner of Big Chic, who would disclose the ingredients. During one transaction, Bradley said his father couldn’t break away from the business to get to Fort Valley, Georgia, to get the mixture, so he sent his nephew. When the nephew arrived, the guy who typically mixed the recipe wasn’t there, so the employee at Big Chic just wrote down the formula and handed it the nephew.

The business this time around is also a family affair for Bradley.

“My wife and all my kids helped to get everything ready,” he said.

His sister, Shelia Bradley-Woodall, was taking orders Friday and said she was glad to see the business back open. She said she worked at the original restaurant before it was sold.

“It’s a bit different this time around,” she said. “When we were in West Point, it was just a walk-up place.”

After customers place their order at the counter, they can sit down and relax while the kitchen staff makes the order. Once it ready, the food is brought out to them.