It's official: Chik-fil-A will land in Apple Valley.
The Apple Valley City Council gave the business a green light on Feb. 28, when it approved a conditional use permit and site plan for the new, 4,559-square-foot restaurant adjacent to the Cub Foods along Cedar Avenue and 153rd Street.
Once complete, the new restaurant will sit at the southeast corner of the Cedar Avenue-153 Street intersection, on a one-acre outlot planned as part of the Cub Foods renovation. The proposed construction was approved in January by the city's planning commission, then went to the council for consideration.
The building will likely seat 106 customers and would have an outdoor seating area and a drive-thru lane, according to Apple Valley Planning Commission documents. The restaurant will also include an indoor play area for children. The restaurant is expected to bring 45 permanent jobs to Apple Valley, as well as 120 temporary construction jobs, Apple Valley Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland said on Feb. 28.
The Georgia-based restaurant chain—best known for its breaded chicken sandwiches—only has a handful locations of in Minnesota. Chick-fil-A are already located at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and in student unions at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and Minnesota State University-Mankato campuses.
Development of two other locations—one in Maple Grove and another Coon Rapids, is underway.
Besides its food, the restaurant is probably best known for two things: A marketing campaign featuring cows urging people to eat more chicken, and the political/social positions of its leader.
In January, Patch reported on the issue that Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy is well known as an opponent of legalizing same-sex marriage, prompting howls of outrage from gay rights supporters and calls for support from religious conservatives around the country. Last year, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino vowed to block the chain from opening an outlet in his city.
Apple Valley City Councilors sidestepped that issue at the Feb. 28 meeting, and instead praised the company for its community-oriented philosophy.
"The company's philosophy is that the restaurants become integral parts of the communities in which they are located, and I love that," Hamann-Roland said. "When our communities can become better as the result of the businesses being involved in the community, that's great."
"A number of people in town tell me they’re pleased that a Chick-fil-A is coming," Councilor Tom Goodwin said. "I've heard nothing by complimentary things."