Andrea Mendoza, Reporter
Drivers riding on S. Meridian Street might have noticed new construction at the corner of 39th Ave SW. This is due to a new fast food chain restaurant coming to Puyallup. Chick-fil-A will open its doors in early 2017.
The building that used to reside at that intersection was home to Hair Teasers By Kim, Inflictions Tattoos and Skate, a pair of dentist offices and Computer Connection, which went out of business due to the new construction. The building was torn down and is being replaced with a 4,800-square-feet building on the 1.20 acre lot for the fast food restaurant according to The News Tribune.
“The city and the company have been discussing since 2014 the building of a Chick-fil-A on South Hill at the corner of 39th Avenue Southwest and South Meridian,” said Tom Utterback, the development services director for the city of Puyallup.
Currently, Chick-fil-A has three establishments in Washington. There’s one in Bellevue, Tacoma and Lynnwood. A Lakewood location is also set to open June 2017. This will be the third South Sound Chick-fil-A. The first opened in April 2015 near the Tacoma Mall.
According to www.chick-fil-a.com, the Puyallup franchise is the next step in its “commitment to expansion in Washington,” with eight to 10 more Chick-fil-As planned for the state over the next five years. Traffic congestion from the deluge of Chick-fil-A fans has been a concern at every opening in the Puget Sound region. Utterback said city officials are worried about the addition of a fast food restaurant with a drive-thru near an intersection that’s already the busiest in Puyallup’s South Hill neighborhood.
“If there is short-term congestion expected, our city traffic engineer can require them to hire some temporary traffic control on their dime to take care of the traffic,” said Utterback. That can last “however long they need it, whether it’s the opening weekend or beyond.”
Chick-fil-A is home to the original chicken sandwich. It originated in 1946, when Truett Cathy opened his first restaurant, Dwarf Grill, in Hapeville, Ga. He was credited with inventing Chick-fil-A’s boneless breast of chicken sandwich and it soon became a hit in the community. Chick-fil-A now has over 2,000 locations in 43 states and Washington, D.C. and that number is rising as more establishments open.
Since this a new establishment, Chick-fil-A has a company policy that states every time a new Chick-fil-A opens, the first 100 campers win free chicken for a year. When the first Washington Chick-fil-A opened in Bellevue in 2015, customers decked out in shirts and hats camped out in the parking lot for hours according to KOMO News.
“I’m really excited they’re building a new a Chick-fil-A,” student Ernesto Robles said. “Everyone needs a Chick-fil-A in their lives.”
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