Chick-fil-A to open Tenleytown location on August 11
Despite earlier neighborhood concerns, restaurant will debut days before Welcome Week
After months of construction and anticipation, Chick-fil-A will open the doors to its Tenleytown location on August 11, just days before AU students arrive for Welcome Week. The new restaurant will mark Chick-fil-A’s second standalone location in the District, having set up shop in Columbia Heights last November.
The fast-food chain first filed a public space application for 4505 Wisconsin Ave. NW in November, laying out its plans to replace the former Payless store nestled between Starbucks and Panera Bread. The proposal included designs for an outdoor patio capable of seating 24 customers.
Due to Chick-fil-A’s request to use public sidewalk space for outdoor seating, the proposal needed the support of the Tenleytown Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) before the company could move ahead with construction. Prior to the December meeting of the ANC, an online petition seeking to block Chick-fil-A from opening a Tenleytown location earned 139 signatures from concerned residents. The initiative eventually secured a total of 153 supporters.
— Tenleytown & Around (@Tenleytown411) July 14, 2016
The petition focused on childhood obesity and claimed the addition of another fast-food restaurant would negatively impact the health of students in the area. Other community members took issue with the chain’s political reputation, with one local calling Chick-fil-A “famously homophobic.” Regardless of the ANC’s opinions of Chick-fil-A, the commission ultimately did not have the authority to stop the company from opening in the area, eventually voting unanimously to support Chick-fil-A’s outdoor seating plans.
"I actually find your CEO's politics unpleasant," ANC Chair Jon Bender told company officials before voting. "[But] it's a public space application; I think this looks fine."
With the Tenleytown opening in sight, Chick-fil-A has accelerated its plans to open four to six more locations in D.C. over the next five years. In addition to its restaurant in Columbia Heights and a scaled down Chick-fil-A Express at Catholic University, the company is reportedly set to open two more locations in Van Ness and the H Street corridor in the near future.