Dec 5 2012
10:17 am

I noticed the Chick-Fil-A that was located in the bank building downtown is now closed. Could this have anything to do with the recent controversy? Didn't there used to be an unspoken rule that one did not mix politics and religion with a business? Whatever happened to such common sense? Anyway, I congratulated the guy next door for stealing all their business away and got an excellent barbeque sandwich for lunch at a great price.

Dave Prince's picture

I seem to recall passing by a

I seem to recall passing by a sign they had up saying something about an upcoming closing when I was out hunting for quick food during an internship I had downtown this Spring. April or May, at least.

Michael's picture

I was talking to someone the

I was talking to someone the other day about this. With their departure, downtown is now home to only two restaurant chains, Subway and Lenny's. That is if you don't count Starbucks as a restaurant. That's a remarkably small minority.

Hildegard's picture

Apparently the company's

Apparently the company's business is still solid. There was an earlier report that the company had decided to stop funding anti-gay organizations, but I never saw anything confirmed. Don't forget about the outrage over layoffs threatened by Papa John's and Darden Restaurants in response to the ACA. (Darden is the parent company of pretty much all the other crappy chain restaurants.)

Edit: As for why this branch of Chik Fil A closed, I don't know. But knowing a little about the politics of a great many daytime occupants of the various private and government office buildings downtown, I doubt it had much at all to do with gay solidarity.

Michael's picture


I doubt that, too. But my theory is that a business can only anticipate a certain number of free refills on iced tea, and this location destroyed that model. There were many sad faces the first day or so.

Mike Cohen's picture


There are a bunch of Blue Coast Burritos. There are four Tupelo Honeys.

Still a low percentage, but Subway and Lenny's are not alone.

Hildegard's picture

There are two Cru

There are two Cru restaurants. The other one is in Turkey Creek. But I don't equate that to a chain (not that there's anything wrong with that:-)

Pickens's picture

And two Tomato Heads

taking over the place, I tell you.

Mike Cohen's picture


And a couple of Namas. And Soccer Taco. But all are local.

Fabricant's picture

Does Rita's count? And what

Does Rita's count? And what about that frozen yogurt place moving in at the corner of market square? When is that supposed to happen, anyway? They've been working on that thing for years.

And doesn't Shucks and Cru have the same owner? Too bad Harry's is gone.

Michael's picture

I guess the word "franchise"

I guess the word "franchise" might be a better term than chain. I don't regard Tomato Head as a chain, even though there's more than one location. And I think that's going to exclude most that have been named, other than perhaps Blue Coast. I don't know if they are a franchise. And I'm going to exclude Rita's from the restaurant category.

I'd welcome a Waffle House at the former Arby's location.

A Downtowner's picture

Chick-Fil-A closing

My source on this is an assistant manager who told me this information in early November soon after the employees were notified of the closing. I believe it to be true. Otherwise I would not be posting:

When the local franchisee (Eddie, something or other) opened a new Chick-Fil-A on Kingston Pike near Homburg place, "corporate" began looking for somebody to take over the downtown store. Prospective new owners couldn't make the numbers work; downtown they did a great breakfast and lunch business. Not so much in the evenings after all the downtown crowd went home. And hardly any business on Saturday (again, no lawyers, bankers or government workers coming in to buy chicken). With what would be a high overhead for rent, the profit margins just didn't work. So the store closed on Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
It had nothing to do with politics (the controversy earlier in the summer). It was simple economics.

Somebody's picture

Seems like a fairly probable

Seems like a fairly probable explanation. It should be noted, however, that the "downtown crowd" doesn't "go home" on weekends and evenings any more. They just don't spend much time in the food court of an office building. You can find plenty of them a couple of blocks north every weekend and on just about any evening.

Hildegard's picture

Yes, there are the star bellied sneeches

That LB franchise was marketed to the commuters who work downtown. It's true that pretty much the only people who frequented that Chik Fil A worked in one of the business high rises or surrounding government office buildings, which the person who (very politely, and without sneering) shared the above insight pretty much said, and he or she probably doesn't need to be schooled on how downtown has now become an international model of urban living.

Hildegard's picture

The Bistro has 'em. Best

The Bistro has 'em. Best lunch spot downtown, imo. Dinner, too.

EconGal's picture

downtown has now become an

downtown has now become an international model of urban living

As someone who lives on a farm, but does go to Gay Street, Market Square, Chesapeake's, Ruth's Chris or Calhoun's almost every day, I do need some schooling. Tell me about this. Is that comment just a bit of civic prideful hyperbole, or is there something world class there I completely miss?

We lived in the old city in the early 90s, but never quite got the hang of it. I think that was because EconGuy went to the third floor at Hoo Ray's too much.

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