Park Street Chicken/Rooster Gets a Color Job in Montclair

The iconic Montclair wall painting — fondly referred to as “that huge chicken mural on Church Street,”, though it actually resides at the corner of Park Street and Bloomfield Avenue — is getting a touch up this week.

According to the 1,000+ FaceBook fan page that is the local repository for all things related to the chicken/rooster, the painting was originally done in 1980 by artist Thomas Reitter, who we believe might be pictured here.
The fans, and many other local residents, are contentious about whether to call the animal a chicken or a rooster (technically the beast’s wattles, earlobes and comb classify it as a male, making it a rooster), let alone that it’s on Park Street and not Church Street, as the fan page implies.

At any rate, the much beloved creature is looking a little brighter today (and happier, if we can apply a little anthropomorphism to the fellow).
Tell us your favorite story about the Park Street mascot. Know any related history or local lore?
Here are some comments from the FaceBook page to start off the conversation:

“The idea about doing a Town mural came about when I first rented the old Aiello Meat market to new tenant who was putting a chicken delight in the location. The idea was to put something exciting on the wall, so that when the morning sun hit the wall the rooster would crow and wake up the Town.” – Paul Zimmerman

My two year old daughter loves that chicken !!! “Big Chicken” she yells every time we pass it. – Nicole Gary Mincey

From 1982 until about 1992 Many,many musicians rehearsed downstairs from “The Chicken in “The Meat Locker.” – Nicholas Ferro

Thanks to Ron Travisano, Montclair resident for the photo and tip.

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  1. I never liked the food at chicken delight, but I spent many, many hours there playing Donkey Kong.

  2. We actually *liked* Chicken Delight, because they Delivered, and was something other than Pizza and Chinese! I liked their chicken sandwich and hubby liked the ribs. Cole slaw was pretty good too as I recall. 🙂

  3. p.s. We passed that Chicken every morning for many years on the way to various schools… and for a long time, the question of the day (in fact EVERY day, it seemed) was: “WHY is there an egg on his face?”
    (ah, memories!)

  4. The Rooster is on Park St. South Park st. is the other side of Bloomfield ave. Too bad the 1st paragraph still has the incorrect location.

  5. What’s even more amazing to me is the fact that, for all the years it has been there, I don’t recall any acts of vandalism committed to deface the chicken. Why is that?

  6. No would deface the chicken because it is not a chicken. It is a Rooster! And a fighting cock at that! You’d be taking a great risk to deface that mural. The Rooster might come to life strike back!

  7. You’ll get cocked if you tag the cock.
    Next, it’s time to restore the map on Glen Ridge Ave. It’s in sad, peeling shape. Been there longer then the Cock.

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