Chick-Fil-A, the fast-food chain known for its fried chicken sandwiches and the sometimes polarizing conservative beliefs of the family that owns it, is set to make its debut in the Big Apple this summer.
The Atlanta-based restaurant will open its first free-standing location in Herald Square later this year, the company said. Previously, the only place in the five boroughs to get a Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich or the restaurant's iconic waffle fries was a small kiosk inside an NYU campus building.
"We are beyond excited about opening our first franchise restaurant in New York. Until now, the only place you could enjoy our food was on the campus of NYU," said Carrie Kurlander, the VP of public relations at Chick-Fil-A. "We are ready to fire up the grills and serve our chicken, hot waffle fries and fresh lemonade to the Herald Square neighborhood."
The Herald Square location, at the corner of Sixth Avenue and West 37th Street, will be three stories and 5,000 square feet, Crain's New York Business reports. Like the chain's other locations across the country, it won't open on Sundays.
It will be the first of many locations throughout the city.
"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, as it will be the first of many locations in the city," Kurlander said.
This is not the first news of Chick-Fil-A's foray into New York City. Last spring, the company announced its intent to open more than 100 locations across the city by the end of 2014, but the new year passed without a franchise opening.
The opening will come more than 3 years after CEO Dan Cathy, the son of founder S. Truett Cathy, set off a firestorm by publicly condemning gay marriage. Mayors in Boston, Chicago and San Francisco said they would block the opening of Chick-Fil-A franchises in their cities and called for a boycott of the restaurant. Then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he disagreed with with the mayors, adding that Cathy's beliefs are none of "the government's business."
Cathy said last year he was going to tone down his conservative agenda.