The incredibly popular (and controversial) Southern fast-food chain will soon open outlets on the Eastside, Tacoma and Lynnwood.
Chick-fil-A obsessed people of the Pacific Northwest, get ready: The Bellevue branch of the incredibly popular (and controversial) Southern fast-food chain opens in just over a month, on Thursday, March 26. A Tacoma outlet follows on April 16, then a Lynnwood location on April 23. The Facebook page for Bellevue’s imminent Chick-fil-A — just east of 405 on Northeast 8th Street — suggests you “get out the camping gear” and, presumably, start sleeping on site now so as to be at the front of the line.
But will hunger for the chain’s food outweigh possible lingering political distaste? The Atlanta-based company faced protests and picketing for its anti-same-sex-marriage/LGBT contributions not long ago (with counter-protests in support of its stance occurring, too, such as the sales-record-breaking Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day in August 2012).
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As recently as 2012, company president Dan Cathy spoke out on behalf of Chick-fil-A with sentiments such as “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that… We intend to stay the course. We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”
But about a year ago, Cathy said he was going to stop making public statements on gay marriage and LGBT matters, implying he’d a change of heart. “All of us become more wise as time goes by,” he told USA Today. “We sincerely care about all people.” (His official company bio says, “Dan has taken an unconventional, yet personally and professionally rewarding approach to Chick-fil-A leadership.”) The company has also put the brakes on its donations to anti-same-sex-marriage causes as the majority of states have embraced and legalized it.
The cynical might suggest that the negative publicity impacting the Chick-fil-A brand was the impetus behind the change as the company rapidly expands. But even those who’re still leery of the politics may not be able to resist the chicken sandwiches newly available so close to their mouths. As one politically liberal local Chick-fil-A fan put it today, “It’s kind of like buying drugs… You know in the back of your mind that you’re probably financing a much larger enterprise with a horrible backstory, but all you really care about is getting a fix.”