One of the Midlands most popular restaurants has opened its second location. On Tuesday, July 9th, Kiki’s Chicken & Waffles opened its newest location in the Harbison area.
“We have been waiting for this day to come,” said Kitwanda “Kiki” Smith-Cyrus, founder and co-owner of Kiki’s Chicken & Waffles. “I'm just so excited about it. For our fans, customers and patrons on this side of town, they will not have to travel as far. And also new people who haven't tried it yet will have a chance to try Kiki’s now.”
The new location, in a way, serves as a vindication of Kiki’s vision. When she was developing the concept for Kiki’s Chicken & Waffles, she looked at several locations. But she was rebuffed by the owners of the buildings who didn’t want to rent space to a novice restaurant owner with an unproven concept.
“They didn’t want to give us a chance,” Kiki said in a 2013 interview. “They wanted someone who had already had a business up and running.”
But that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. She found a good location that allowed her to develop her concept. She quickly outgrew her original location, and moved to a highly-visible building in front of Columbia Mall. Kiki’s quickly became one of the Midlands most popular restaurants.
Kiki has been honored as a Top Women of Influence by the Southeast Small Business Magazine (2014) and South Carolina Chef Ambassador (2018). She is also featured in Rachael Ray's magazine, Rachael Ray Every Day, 2nd Annual Women In Food issue (2019).
Kiki’s Chicken and Waffles has been visited by former Vice President Joe Biden, former First Lady Hillary Clinton, Olympic Gold Medalist / Hall of Fame basketball star Dawn Staley, recording artist Travis Greene, R&B singers Chrisette Michele & En Vogue, Gospel Legend Marvin Winans and many more!
Her success prompted Kiki to open a second location. Now that her vision has a successful track record, Kiki’s says that this is just the beginning.
“We're delighted to be on this side of town and we look to grow in even more places,” she said. “We are looking to expand to the Charleston area, and hopefully to the Rock Hill area. But we want to make sure that this one is running fine and good before we expand to other locations.”
Kiki’s Chicken & Waffles is located at 1260 Bower Parkway, Suite 8-A in the Harbison area near the Regal Columbiana Grande Theaters. Kiki’s is open Monday – Friday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday from 9:30 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. To learn more, visit www.kikischickenandwaffles.com.