Bad Boys Chicken, or B.B.C., is closing its Athens location, 61 N. Court St., and moving to Columbus.
The closure is a result of maintenance issues and the smaller population of Athens compared to Columbus, said co-owner Brian Godfrey. The business officially closed Wednesday.
Septic water from the residential unit above B.B.C. has been leaking into the building, Godfrey said. The issue caused B.B.C. to close during its regular hours numerous times to have employees clean the restaurant.
“The solution that was brought to us by the individual who owns the building has already been attempted by the previous tenant and the same things continue to happen now,” Godfrey said. “With that being understood, we are not looking to partake in a temporary fix.”
The water has been leaking almost every other day for the past month, Godfrey said. The owners and employees have been cleaning as necessary, but that’s resulting in more money being spent on extra labor and supplies.
Godfrey and co-owner Leslie Aguilera sublease the space from Michael Carson, but would not disclose the owner of the building. Carson dealt with the same problem in the facility years before B.B.C. opened, Godfrey said.
B.B.C. chicken n' waffles startedin Godfrey’s apartment in Fall Semester 2021 and moved into the building in April 2022. When Godfrey and Aguilera toured the facility, the plumbing was an issue, but it was not as persistent as it is now.
“This is 100% not the end of B.B.C. chicken n’ waffles,” Godfrey said. “The timing could not have been more impeccable.”
Because Godfrey’s food service license expired Wednesday, along with the constant plumbing issues, the owners said it was best if they didn’t renew it and moved elsewhere.
Godfrey said he wanted to move to Columbus because, compared with Athens’ population of approximately 24,000 people, Columbus’ population of nearly one million will allow B.B.C. to reach more consumers and garner more income.
B.B.C.’s new concept will be a cloud kitchen, Godfrey said. A cloud kitchen is takeout and delivery only and completely contactless. After cooking the food, kitchen employees place the meals on a cart and the building’s staff takes the food to lockers for customers.
There are currently around 60 cloud kitchens in the U.S., and incorporating one will cost Godfrey and Aguilera approximately $10,000 to $15,000 to start. Godfrey said it is cheap for restaurants and has the possibility to make that amount back in one week.
“Although it is sad, what has to be done, has to be done,” said Zack Ruiz, a sophomore studying journalism and an employee of B.B.C.’s Athens location.
Ruiz has worked at B.B.C. in Athens since January 2023 and said the water leak has been an ongoing problem during his shifts. He added the sewage problems are an inconvenience and advised any future business that looks into the rental space to be aware.
Bryce Seigfried, a junior studying communications, said he plans on ordering from B.B.C. in Athens during its final night of operation, but he also plans on visiting the new location once it opens.
“I hate to see them go, but I want to see him succeed,” Seigfried said. “(Godfrey) is one of my good buddies, and I just hope they succeed well up there. It’s bittersweet, almost.”