Zeke’s Hot Chicken, formerly Zacky’s, to close Oct. 1

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Zeke’s Hot Chicken, formerly known as Zacky’s Hotdogs And Smokehouse BBQ, has announced that it will close its doors Oct. 1.

cic-web-0926-zekes-hot-chickenOwner Zachary Darring did not criticize the City of Carmel but admitted that construction on the nearby roundabout at Carmel Drive and Range Line Road has been tough on his business. He told Current in Carmel he wants to get back to focusing on his congregation that he leads at Jesus is Lord Church, near 63rd Street and Michigan Road in Indianapolis.

“With deep regrets, Zeke’s Hot Chicken (formerly Zacky’s Hotdogs And Smokehouse BBQ) is sending this message to all of our faithful customers and wonderful friends to inform you that we chose not to renew our lease,” Darring wrote in a text. “Our last day of business will be Saturday, October 1, 2016. We would like to sincerely thank you for the awesome well wishes and kind support throughout the years.”

Originally called Zacky’s, Darring opened his family-run restaurant in 2010. His building burned down months after his initial opening due to a fire at Dunkin’ Donuts that spread. He reopened but considered selling the business in 2015 to focus more on his church. He decided to keep the business open, but rebranded it as a chicken restaurant a year ago because he said he was afraid that recent negative news stories about hot dogs would scare away health-conscious customers.

Despite setbacks, several elected officials in Carmel, including Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard and City Council President Ron Carter, would regularly cite in interviews that Zacky’s/Zeke’s was one of their favorite places to eat.

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