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Fast-Food Operator Eyeing More New York Locations Including Nanuet & Yonkers
By Tina Traster
It’s a homerun for Chick-fil-A fans.
The fast-food chicken sandwich restaurant will be vending at the Clover Stadium in Pomona through the 2022 season. The baseball park is the home field of the New York Boulders of the independent Frontier League; it was formerly known as the Palisades Union Credit Park.
Chick-fil-A will open Friday May 6, in conjunction with the season’s first exhibition game against FDNY (the Fire Department of the City of New York). The chicken chain will serve its popular fare alongside three returning vendors: Sixteen Handles, Mr. Miyagi, and Red Threads Pizza. The stadium is still looking for a kosher vendor.
But attending fans on Sundays will find Chick-fil-A shuttered. Though baseball is like a religion to some, the fast-food’s late founder, S. Truett Cathy, a devout southern Baptist, has held fast to closing on Sundays since he founded his first restaurant in Hapeville, Georgia in 1946.
“Truett saw the importance of closing on Sundays so that he and his employees could set aside one day to rest and worship if they choose – a practice we uphold today,” the Chick-fil-A site says.
Clover’s Seth Cantor, director of business development, says the stadium was familiar with the fast-food chain’s philosophy before signing the one-year contract.
“We knew full well, but we had no concerns,” said Cantor. “They are a powerful national brand and a product that fans and people love.”
Cantor said the vendor is still working on the menu and will be part of the stadium’s marketing and promotional program.
Chick-fil-A, one of the largest American fast food restaurant franchises, operates 2,793 restaurants in 47 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada.
In 2021, in fact, a typical stand-alone Chick-fil-A outside of a mall generated more than $8.1 million in revenues, according to Restaurant Business. That’s up 14.8 percent from the year before, according to data from the company’s most recent Franchise Disclosure Documents. When one includes sales at all its locations, which include restaurants in malls and airports, the average unit volume was $5.9 million in 2021.
Chick-fil-A, with locations in the Paramus Park Mall and Ramsey, New Jersey, is planning several New York openings, including one on Central Park Avenue in Yonkers, several in Long Island, and another on Route 59 in Nanuet.
Chick-fil-A is in negotiations to purchase the 58-80 Route 59 strip mall, a half-vacant shopping center that was once the home of HobbyTown USA.
Owner Bradley Cocks of Ashley LLC says, “the property is under contract,” but the purchase is contingent on the project’s feasibility.
The quick-service eatery has submitted plans to the Town of Clarkstown to build a 5,625 square foot Chick-fil-A restaurant with two drive-thru lanes, and meal order/delivery canopies. The franchise also intends to build a second quick service restaurant (QSR) on site covering an additional 1,000 square feet with a single drive-thru lane. The operator of the second QSR has not been revealed.
The nearly 3-acre site includes two commercial buildings; the front portion is a two-story building with mixed used commercial tenants, and the rear building is two-and-a-half story studio. Chick-fil-A intends to raze both buildings on the site.
A provision in the Town of Clarkstown code that banned restaurants within 200 feet of places of worship was recently scrapped. The Chick-fil-A site sits within 200 feet of St. Anthony’s Church on West Nyack Road.
Chick-fil-A is often embroiled in controversy for past donations to charities opposed to LGBTQ+ rights
Prior to 2012, Chick-fil-A made significant donations to socially-conservative and Christian organizations known for opposing LGBTQ rights through its WinShape Foundation. However, Chick-fil-A pledged to stop most of its controversial donations after facing backlash in response to Dan Cathy – son of the founder — saying in 2012 that he did not support same-sex marriage.
New York’s Thruway Authority received pushback when it announced Chick-fil-A’s plans to open at renovated rest stops this year. Chick-fil-As are slated to open in September at the New Baltimore and Plattekill stops in the Hudson Valley.
Although there is a Chick-fil-A inside the Albany International Airport, a plan to include the restaurant inside the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport was scrapped in 2019 after major pushback from lawmakers and activists.