Two years after the town of Fairfield’s Plan and Zoning Commission declined to approve the construction of a Chick-fil-A on the former site of Joe’s American Bar & Grill due to traffic concerns, First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick announced on April 24 that the chicken sandwich chain would proceed with plans of opening a restaurant in 750 Post Road.
“The applicant recently reached out to let us know they were redesigning their plan to bring Chick-fil-A to this site within the current footprint without a drive-through,” said Kupchick, in a written statement shared on Facebook with her constituents. “This would essentially be using the building and site as it was formally permitted and used by Joe’s.”
Chick-fil-A’s redesigned plans come after the Fairfield independent commission voted unanimously in 2021 to deny the petition for a “special permit” to 750 Post Road Associates, LLC, the owners of the lot. In the Nov. 9, 2021 meeting minutes, the commission expressed that “the proposal will result in undue traffic congestion and will not harmonize with the neighborhood.”
It continued by stating its concerns “regarding vehicle queuing capacity on site that is likely to result in internal congestion blocking of parking spaces and preventing [the] flow of vehicles into and throughout the site as well as the potential for queuing onto adjacent streets as has been experienced at other CT locations.”
According to the board, the plan that 750 Post Road Associates presented at the time represented an “unacceptable degradation of levels of service at impacted intersections.”
Even with the prospect of increased traffic in the area, the First Selectwoman implied in her statement that it was time for the town to embrace the idea of a development in the abandoned building.
“Over the last several months the town has fielded questions about what the plan was for the former Joe’s site which is not owned by the town. During that time, the former Joe’s American Bar & Grill has sat vacant and was put on the blight agenda for numerous complaints from residents about the state of the property.”
In a statement to The Fairfield Mirror, Chick-fil-A confirmed the news of their new location in Fairfield, announcing that construction is now underway.
“It’s our pleasure to confirm we will be opening our first Chick-fil-A restaurant in Fairfield, located at 750 Post Road. Construction on Chick-fil-A Post Road & Elliot Street has begun and includes renovations to the existing structure,” said a spokesperson for Chick-fil-A Inc. The opening of the Fairfield location will occur “within the next year”.
The chicken sandwich chain, which is widely known for being closed on Sundays, expressed that expanding to the Fairfield community represents a “tremendous opportunity to serve our customers and fans.”
Chick-fil-A’s spokesperson concluded its statement by highlighting the company’s excitement in “joining the community and serving all of our guest’s delicious food in an environment of genuine hospitality.”
While they have a presence in 47 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, the opening of the Fairfield location will mark the company’s 13th location in the Constitution State and the second operating in close proximity to Connecticut’s I-95 corridor.
As America’s best fast-food for the past eight years, the popularity of Chick-fil-A is quite outstanding with college students, most notably when, in 2012, then-Auburn recruit Cassanova McKinzy decided to pass the chance to play for Clemson Tigers because “they had no Chick-Fil-A on campus.”
According to the company, they have nearly 300 locations on college campuses across the United States, with most of the restaurants operating in public universities in the Southeast.
At Fairfield University, the idea of an on-campus Chick-fil-A has been making noise since at least 2021, when Fairfield University Student Association presidential candidate Noah Richardson ‘23 proposed constructing a chain restaurant in the North Benson campus, with Chick-fil-A as one of the possible options. Richardson was not successful in his bid to become FUSA president and the idea of having a new on-campus restaurant has not resurfaced.
The Mirror will continue to update on the opening of Chick-fil-A in Post Road as more information becomes available.