I was recently reminded of how much I love food on a stick and I started trying to think back to when my love of food on a stick began. Was it at Ren Fest with the chicken on a stick booths? No, even earlier than that. I believe it can be traced to Chicken Chan, a long-extinct fast food place in Metcalf South Mall. I can still remember going up the escalator and begging my mom to go to Chicken Chan. They had chicken tenders, you guessed it, on a stick. They also had perhaps the best cottage fries I've ever had (though maybe nostalgia colors my evaluation of them now). It was an incredibly small place, just a counter where you ordered, maybe one or two small tables and a counter along the wall where you could sit to eat. Getting a paper basket of chicken on a stick and cottage fries and sitting on one of the tall counter stools with my feet dangling toward the floor was a joy. I remember playing with the sticks afterward and thinking how much more fun they made chicken tenders. Hats off to you, Chicken Chan.
I just did a quick search for Chicken Chan and found this little article from the St. Petersburg Times in 1980 about the opening of a Charlie Chan. I have stand corrected that the place was called Charlie Chan and not Chicken Chan, but in my head, they will always be Chicken Chan.