For years, one of the most popular rumors in Somerset was that a Chick-fil-A restaurant would be nesting in Somerset.
That talk is now finally a reality.
The fast-food chain known for its faith-based business approach — and quality chicken sandwiches — is now in the process of constructing a restaurant on South U.S. 27 in front of The Center for Rural Development, one of several new developments along that stretch of the highway in the works or already completed.
A sign went up announcing Chick-fil-A’s arrival and attracted much social media buzz on Wednesday.
“The property is sold and Chick-fil-A is coming,” said Scott Gulock, one of the owners of the plot of land at the intersection of U.S. 27 and University of Kentucky Drive. He noted that the deal on the property closed in mid-July.
As far as any other details, “That’s out of our hands now,” said Gulock.
A call to Chick-fil-A’s corporate offices shed some light on the timetable for the restaurant’s opening. According to Jessica Ferrell of Chick-fil-A, Inc., the Somerset restaurant is planned to debut in “early 2020.”
“We look forward to joining the Somerset community and serving all of our customers delicious food in an environment of genuine hospitality,” said Ferrell.
Chick-fil-A, with more than 2,300 restaurants across the United States, is one of the most unique restaurant chains on the landscape, with a devoted following due not just to the actual food but for their way of doing business. Founded in 1946 in Atlanta, Ga., by S. Truett Cathy, a Southern Baptist (the name Chick-fil-A didn’t come about until 1967; it was originally called the Dwarf Grill, then Dwarf House), Chick-fil-A restaurants put an emphasis on friendly service and are closed on Sundays. They’ve also donated money to many youth-based and charitable causes, some of which have made headlines for their political implications. The stated corporate purpose on the company’s website, www.chick-fil-a.com, reads, “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A.”
Gulock, of Alton Blakley Honda, and the Somerset Independent Schools Board of Education, has working with a company called ATS Properties to bring something new to the empty space just south of The Center, originally 4.67 acres waiting to be developed.
Gulock said that there’s still “close to an acre-and-a-half” on the other side of where Chick-fil-A is being built that’s still available for sale. There’s not a buyer lined up yet — “Nobody close right now,” said Gulock, but the presence of Chick-fil-A next door may change that in a hurry.
“Now that that sign is up, it should be more attractive,” he said.
As for the sale that’s already been made, however, Gulock is pleased with the results.
“We’re tickled to death to have (Chick-fil-A) come to our community,” he said. “It’s a great restaurant to have here.”