Today SCPR regales us with the full story that explains why a Highland Park Mexican restaurant appears to have a 22-foot statue of a chicken-headed human holding a greasy bucket of something that you can’t actually find on this block. The statue used to grace Downtown’s long-gone Chicken Boy restaurant on 4th and Broadway and was part of a collection of fiberglass statues topping restaurants that were once found scattered along Route 66. Chicken Boy, as you can tell from the creepy man-arms, probably once had a different head until someone gave it a switcheroo. But it was that very visage that proved too irresistible for one fan of this anthropomorphizied piece of poultry.
When she discovered that Chicken Boy restaurant had shuttered in the early eighties, an art school grad named Amy Inouye called about the statue and Chicken Boy soon became her property, mostly hidden away in storage for 23 years while Inouye tried to get him a proper public pedestal. In her downtime, Inouye started a cult around Chicken Boy with gift items like t-shirts and pins for sale , appearances around the country, and his own motto: “Too tall to live, too weird to die.” The character even has a website that deems it “The Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles.”
This new-found attention turned Chicken Boy into a local phenomenon. Finally, Inouye got her wish when she moved a successful graphic design business, Future Studios, onto Figueroa, one of the main drags in Highland Park. She was partially taken by the building’s flat roof that would easily accommodate a giant statue of a bird-boy holding a bucket of chicken. Several permits later, Chicken Boy had returned to a roost and is now on display above Inouye’s studio for all of the city to gawk and squawk at. Sadly, the days of giant fiberglass donuts and towering roadside taqueros are mostly over, otherwise we’d love to see a colossal chupacabra on the restaurant next door, eying Chicken Boy’s nest while offering us a behemoth bowl of birria.