During the Great Chicken Uproar of 2012, then-NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn demanded that the NYU cafeteria close its tiny walk-up Chick-Fil-A window, which remains the chain’s sole outpost in the nation’s largest city. But not for very much longer as this summer the company will open its biggest store ever, a three-story 5000sf outlet near Herald Square.
“We are beyond excited about opening our first freestanding restaurant in New York,” said Carrie Kurlander, vice president of public relations. “This location will allow us to serve fans who have been asking us to come to New York and to earn the opportunity to serve new customers.” She noted that the company is actively working on additional restaurants to open here this year and next. Like its other 1,850 locations, Chick-fil-A’s New York restaurant, which is a franchise location, will not be open on Sundays, as the company “believes all operators and team members deserve a day off,” according to a spokeswoman. Of course, only operating six days of a week will make affording the city’s hefty rents a difficult task. The asking rent for the Sixth Avenue space was $450 a square foot for the ground floor, for example. It also remains to be seen how the city’s gay community will welcome the chain.
The Empire State Pride Agenda reacts:
We hope that Chick-fil-A’s planned entrance to New York City comes with a side of LGBT-inclusivity and a newly-thought strategy for supporting ventures that are equality friendly. The bedrock of our city is built on diversity and the history of the LGBT civil rights movement took place on our streets; we encourage all new businesses, including Chick-fil-A, to learn from the mistakes they’ve made and welcome a new era that is reflective of the people they will be serving.
Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy was the daily darling of anti-gay groups throughout the 2012 furor, but last year Tony Perkins labeled him a “coward” after Cathy declared that he was shutting up forever about same-sex marriage.