Originally opened in 1964 by Fran and Joe Gerace, today the restaurant, tucked into a shopping plaza off Federal Highway just north of Glades Road, is owned and operated by Boca Raton native Chris Stuart, who remembers eating there as a child with his father, who, at one time, delivered the Geraces their bread.
Over the years, the eatery has changed hands several times, each new owner giving the fried chicken his own signature twist.
"They wanted to give the place their own stamp, but it never really worked," said Stuart, who purchased the business in 2013 and immediately revived the Geraces' original fried chicken recipe. "For me, it was an easy decision. If it's not broke, don't fix it."
Today, Stuart stands as the only operator since the founding owners to use Fran's famous, sugar-sweetened batter — a top-secret blend of spices and flour fried-to-order and offering the perfect crisp.
That’s not to say that some things haven't changed. The menu once served nothing but fried chicken paired with a soft bread bun and a side of coleslaw or fries. In the past few years, Stuart has added a number of new menu items, including side dishes like his own homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, prepared daily.
Fran’s Chicken Haven is located at 1925 N. Federal Highway in Boca Raton. Call 561-395-0781, or visit franschickenhaven.net