Chick-fil-A to open store in city of Chicago in 2011

Posted April 21, 2010 at 8:20 a.m.

By Kiah Haslett |
If the Chicago suburbs are too far a journey for Chick-fil-A chicken sandwiches and waffle fries, wait a year.

Chick-fil-A is planning to open its first restaurant in the city of Chicago in 2011, followed by one or two more by the year’s end. Ultimately, the company hopes to have 25 restaurants in five years.

The Chicago market is unique because half of the residents live in the urban core of the city. Until now, this has run up against Chick-fil-A’s suburban sprawl strategy of free-standing restaurants near retail developments.

John Featherston Jr., the company’s senior director of real estate, said
the company’s move into Chicago in a strategic adaptation to urban
centers and a blending of current pedestrian-friendly urban locations
and the more suburban designs that accommodate cars with parking lots
and drive-thru windows.

He said there will be a combination of familiar freestanding restaurants
as well as stores like Corner Bakery or Potbelly’s that combine speed
with customer comfort and ambiance. Neighborhoods the company is
considering include River North, the Loop, Streeterville, Gold Coast,
Lincoln Park and Wrigleyville. He said Chicago residents of different
neighborhoods can implore the company to build in their area on the
Chick-fil-A website.

The rapid opening of restaurants in the Chicagoland area could create a
hiring boom among high school students looking for part-time work.
Featherston said a typical restaurant has 75 to 100 part- and full-time
workers. He said hiring will probably begin four to six weeks in advance
of a store opening.

Featherston and company Chief Operating Officer Dan Cathy went to Aurora today for the groundbreaking ceremony of the first
Chicagoland Chick-fil-A.

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  1. MarkE April 21, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    I read many posts yesterday saying putting down the suburbs and extoling the virtues of the city since all the Chick-fila’s were going there. Whoops!

  2. Derek May 1, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Woohoo!!!!! finally!

  3. JerryTheG May 8, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Chick-Fil-A occasionally shows videos and movies at their locations; these are called the Chick-Fil-A-Show.