AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

Downtown Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles "voluntarily closed"

Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles' troubled downtown Atlanta location is "voluntarily closed," a Fulton County health department official said Wednesday afternoon.

The iconic Peachtree Street eatery initially remained open after flunking a surprise health inspection Oct. 6 for violations including "heavy fruit fly activity" and food stored at unsafe temperatures.  But on Monday, representatives told inspectors it will remain shuttered until they request a follow-up inspection, which could be as early as this week.

Multiple attempts to reach restaurant management by phone were unsuccessful Wednesday.

Knight's son Shanga Hankerson, 40, who owns the restaurant, was arrested on two felony theft counts in June after a Georgia Department of Revenue investigation found that he had kept tax money that he had collected. Witnesses told investigators that he spent on marijuana and sex parties as the restaurant sank.

Hankerson is also the subject of a civil racketeering case.

The arrest sparked an ugly public feud between soul legend Knight and Hankerson, who she recently accused in court filings of trying to "extort" her by making false claims that she was suffering from Alzheimer's disease or dementia.

Hankerson has said in a court filing that she lacked the "mental capacity" to request that her name be taken off the restaurant.

Knight is not suspected of wrongdoing, and was not involved in the day-to-day operations of the restaurant, investigators said.

Reader Comments ...