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Ex-Wife’s Famous Chicken boasts great name, even better food

 Ex-Wife’s Famous Chicken boasts great name, even better food

If there is a top 10 list of all-time best names of restaurants, Ex-Wife’s Famous Chicken should be on it — if not top it — for obvious reasons.

It’s so witty, it’s like a magnet, drawing chicken-loving people into its spaces because, well, if someone names a restaurant after their ex-wife, it’s probably going to be off-the-charts tasty, right?

The creation of legendary restauranteur Allie Mallad, who once owned 149 Little Caesars franchises and was mentored by none other than Mike Ilitch, Ex-Wife’s name may bring you into its growing chain of eateries, but take it from this reporter: its food will bring you back.

After I devoured a pair of Ex-Wife’s complimentary chicken tenders, I wanted more. Unfortunately, I was too far from the lone southeast Michigan site on Ford Road in Dearborn Heights — and stuck in rush-hour traffic — to turn back.

But there’s good news on the horizon for me and others western Wayne County residents passionate about their chicken tenders: the franchise is on the verge of opening a second suburban-Detroit restaurant at 7060 Wayne Road in Westland, with an eye on launching a Plymouth site sometime in 2023.

An Ex-Wife's Famous Chicken is on the verge of opening on Wayne Road, just south of Warren Road.
An Ex Wifes Famous Chicken is on the verge of opening on Wayne Road just south of Warren Road

Opening soon

If everything goes as planned, the Westland restaurant should be open no later than February of 2023, an Ex-Wife representative confirmed.

As far as the divorce-themed name goes, Mallad is good-naturedly evasive about its origin.

“The name is up for interpretation,” he said in a recent interview. “I, at this point, really can’t reveal where the name came from or why, but there are millions of ex-wives in this country, so the question becomes more of ‘who owns it?’, the ex-wife or the ex-husband?”

The restaurant serves exclusively halal chicken. According to, “halal meat is raised differently than conventional meat. For example, a Perdue Hardestland Halal Chicken is 100% vegetarian and contains no animal byproducts. The meat is also cured in particular ways, so you’re not consuming any harmful bacteria.” added that halal meat has increased in popularity in the foodservice industry, accounting for more than half the meat market.
A wall inside the Ex-Wife's Dearborn Heights restaurant.
A wall inside the Ex Wifes Dearborn Heights restaurant

In addition to Ex-Wife’s LOL-esque name, its broad menu is punctuated by divorce-themed humor. For instance, it’s children’s menu is labeled “Child Support” and one of its salads bears the name “Heartbreaker”.

There’s also “Cole Hearted Slaw” and “Freedom Fries”, so you can chuckle in between bites. will provide updates on the progress of the Westland and Plymouth restaurants. In addition to the Dearborn Heights location, there is also an Ex-Wife’s operating in Battle Creek.
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Ed Wright

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