NORMAL — Chick-fil-A is considering building one of its restaurants at the corner of Veterans Parkway and College Avenue.
The company has filed a request with Normal for a variation from the town's required parking and landscaping guidelines for the location. The Normal Zoning Board of Appeals will consider the request at its Dec. 18 meeting.
The company confirmed they are considering a Normal location "but it's too early in the process to discuss specifics," said Hannah Wagner of Jackson/Spalding for Chick-fil-A.
A typical free-standing Chick-fil-A employs up to 80 full- and part-time workers, Wagner said. All the restaurants are locally-owned and committed to supporting local schools and charities, she said.
It would be the second new restaurant at that corner.
Earlier this week, a $433,800 building permit was issued for a Red Robin restaurant at 107 S. Veterans Parkway, just north of the current Wild Berries restaurant. The casual dining chain based in Colorado features a menu of about two dozen burger choices and bottomless steak fries, salads, soup, appetizers, entrees, desserts and a full bar. It will seat 168 people.
The property being eyed by Chick-fil-A is just north of the planned Red Robin. Greg Troemel, Normal's building director, said Chick-fil-A has not filed building plans but its representatives have talked with the town's building department about building on the site.
The property used to be the site of a Signature Inn, then a Howard Johnson hotel. The hotel was razed in October 2013. Doug Reichl of Tartan Realty, who also is building the Hyatt Place Hotel in uptown Normal, purchased the property as well as a parcel to the west that formerly was the site of a Pizza Hut.
Pizza Hut closed that site and opened a carryout/delivery-only location at a nearby strip mall at 1700 Parkway Plaza Drive.
A new road called Baxter Street will be added between Wild Berries and Mandarin Garden House, 106 Mall Drive, to serve the new Red Robin and potentially Chick-fil-A.
The idea for a Chick-fil-A started in 1946 in Haperville, Ga., when Truett Cathy opened a restaurant, according to the company's website. He founded Chick-fil-A in the early 1960s. By last year, the company had more than 1,850 locations in 41 states and had more than $5 billion in sales.
As the name suggests, most of the menu is based around chicken.