Chick-fil-A is planning to open its third location in midtown Manhattan — and possibly its busiest in all of America — right across the street from Grand Central Terminal.
“[Our] Midtown restaurant is expected to be one of the busiest Chick-fil-A locations in the country given its proximity to Grand Central Station, which serves more than 750,000 commuters each day,” writes Chick-fil-A in a news release.
The 6,263-square-foot restaurant, which opens on March 1 at the corner of 42nd and Madison Avenue, has also been specially designed to handle the “extreme volume” the store expects upon opening, according to a Chick-fil-A news release. In addition to a second floor dining area boasting a capacity for 100 guests, some of the location's 200 team members will be taking orders via tablet “as soon as guests walk through the doors” in order to reduce wait times, the chain confirmed.
Before the doors even open, however, Chick-fil-A is gearing up for the inevitable fanfare that precedes the launch of a new location. As is customary before any grand opening, the company is holding a “First 100” camp-out which will culminate in 100 lucky fried-chicken fans earning a free entrée, per week, for an entire year. The celebration officially kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on the evening before the new location’s grand opening, just down the street at the Bank of America Winter Village in Bryant Park.
When the Grand Central-adjacent Chick-fil-A officially opens for business, it will become the third Chick-fil-A location in midtown, and the fifth in NYC overall — most likely to the dismay of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.
In 2016, ahead of a Chick-fil-A opening at the city’s Queens Center Mall, de Blasio — along with Queens Councilman Danny Dromm — blasted the restaurant for donating money to organizations that oppose same-sex marriage and urged New Yorkers not to patronize the restaurant.
"What the ownership of Chick-fil-A has said is wrong," said de Blasio, per DNA Info. "I’m certainly not going to patronize them and I wouldn’t urge any other New Yorker to patronize them. But they do have a legal right."
Despite de Blasio’s wishes, it seems that New Yorker’s have developed a taste for Chick-fil-A: The chain is currently building a five-level restaurant — billed as the “largest Chick-fil-A ever” — in the middle of Manhattan’s Financial District.