Donated by Pat Cornish
In the late 1940s Roy Ritter, a pioneer in the Arkansas poultry industry, was raising broilers at his AQ (Arkansas Quality) chicken farm in Springdale. At that time Ritter played host to business people from all over the country as part of his job in poultry sales. Of course when these folks came to Springdale, they wanted to go out and eat a chicken dinner! For a while, Ritter took his guests to the Rock House Café on Highway 71.
It wasn’t long before Roy Ritter decided to open his own restaurant serving his own homegrown broilers. The first AQ Chicken House opened in 1947 on a hilltop in Springdale overlooking Ritter’s chicken houses in the valley below. Ritter owned the restaurant until 1970 when he sold it to pursue other interests.