Chick-fil-A will open its first ever free standing restaurant on October 3rd, 2015 at 37th Street and 6th Avenue in Midtown, Manhattan.
Founder, Truett Cathy, opened his first restaurant in Hapeville, Georgia in 1946 known at the time as Dwarf Grill. It wasn’t until years later he established Chick-fil-A, Inc. and opened the first restaurant of the same name in Atlanta in 1967.
The popular, ultra religious, southern fast food chain has expanded to over 42 states and Washington, DC. The Midtown location will be the first free standing Chick-fil-A in Manhattan – placed in an area with high traffic and those looking for something a little different to eat. What does that mean for the people of New York City? The chain will render its famous boneless fried chicken breast enclosed in a buttery bun that has been a staple since the beginning.
Chick-fil-A has been serving a select few of New Yorkers its famous sandwich for years at its NYU location in Greenwich Village, but given that it is part of the campus, most outsiders did not know it existed. Now the bright red chicken icon will not be missed by many New Yorker’s who frequent Herald Square.
Although the food maybe new to some, there maybe others who remembers the controversy surrounding the food chain. In 2012, CEO Dan Cathy, son of founder, made a statement in regards to same-sex marriages. Cathy’s comments “condemning same-sex marriages set off store picketing and social media firestorm,” according to USA Today. Cathy has since tried to remove himself and the company from any political matters and he states, “Chick-fil-A has no place in the culture wars and regrets making the company a symbol in the marriage debate,” according to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
However, Cathy’s statement did not cause a negative impact with sales from 2012 to 2014. QSR Web reported that in 2012 the restaurants annual sale was over $4 billion and Chick-fil-A.com reported System-wide sales in 2014 reached nearly $6 billion.
In a city this diverse, Chick-fil-A must be prepared for all types of people and personalities. Oscar Fittipaldi, a Navy veteran who has traveled the world, had dreams of getting to New York City and owning his own business, according to New York Eatery online. He is the owner and operator of NYC’s first free standing Chick-fil-A.
New Yorker’s are relatively accustomed to transplants from other states and cities, but given the religious background accompanied with the “southern hospitality” the restaurant was founded on, it will be interesting to see how New Yorker’s embrace the fast food restaurant.