The popular, yet controversial chicken chain, Chick-fil-A has finally come home to roost in Spokane. And with it the age old debate of whether to chicken or not to chicken has started right where it left off.
“We look forward to joining the community and to serving all of our guests delicious food in an environment of genuine hospitality,” Chick-fil-A said in an interview with the Spokesman-Review.
However, this is not the first time Spokane has prepared itself for an opening of a branch of the Georgia-based restaurant. In August 2018 the chain accidentally announced that it was opening a restaurant on Gonzaga’s campus when no plans were actually made. According to GU, the chain will never appear on campus as it does not align with the universities values.
Even today, Google Maps keeps the memory of the phantom store alive by directing people to GU’s campus as the nearest hub for chicken lovers. These faux announcements are still enough to bring people to campus periodically asking “Where is the Chick-Fil-A?” While some might be excited for a closer branch to campus than the Moscow, Idaho, alternative, others are still passionately against the restaurant even if it is not on campus.
“A bunch of Zags are about to be exposed for caring about chicken more than queer people,” senior Marlin Jones said.
The reason many protest Chick-Fil-A and why it has such a contentious reputation is because of the way it has used its money to promote more conservative causes, namely homophobic and anti-LGBTQ causes. The restaurant's CEO, Dan Cathy, has also publicly said that “supporting same-sex marriage would invite God’s judgment on the country."
The company has recently tried to improve its image by distancing itself from certain Christian charities, pulling millions of dollars of donations. It also started a new campaign on its website meant to refocus its corporate social responsibility to caring for people, communities and the planet. However, the lingering public mistrust is still very pertinent and the franchise never explicitly “promised” to stop donating to similar charities in the future.
Two years later, the Spokane community is still as split as ever when it comes to the game changing game cooker coming to Spokane.
“Burn. It. Down,” Zoey Gough said. “Chicken but at what cost to the LGBTQ+ community? Maybe a bit aggressive but I don’t see the need for conservative Spokane to become more conservative. I personally have never been able to get over the company as a whole to be able to eat their food.”
While many GU students are outspoken about their distrust for the company, there are many within it as well as many within the Spokane community who are excited for the long-awaited restaurant to finally open its doors. With almost 800 shares and 700 comments on its Facebook post supporting the developing location.
The Spokane Chick-Fil-A, located on 9304 N. Newport Highway, will be celebrating its grand opening on Dec. 1 as a drive thru only, along with more opening day surprises to be announced in the future.
“I understand that Spokane is getting more popular—even a Whole Foods is looking to move here,” Gough said. “But I’m not sure it’s the right option to keep Spokane, Spokane.”