Guest post by, Pat Hunnell, Cameron Village Public Relations
Raleigh, N.C. – The nation’s first two-story Chick-fil-A opened March 1 in Cameron Village Shopping Center. The two story design is the very first of its kind—the only two story, free standing restaurant, and CV was chosen as the perfect site to reveal and test the new concept. “This is the culmination of seven years of planning and development,” said John Pharr, Sr.VP-Southeast, Regency Centers, “and we are thrilled to be the location for architectural history in the making!”
John Pharr of Regency Centers and Smedes York of York Properties encouraged and challenged Chick-fil-A to come up with a design that was timeless and that would fit within the ambiance of the Village. They also challenged Chick-fil-A to create a place that would be a natural gathering spot for folks within the Village.
The grand opening followed ten months of construction during which the community watched anxiously as the steel frame took shape against the Raleigh skyline. The design features sidewalk seating on the ground level and a second level outdoor patio seating area. A Vittlevayer, Chick-Fil-A’s state of the art food transfer system, assures that food travels from the efficient kitchen to the waiting customers, and is delivered hot and fresh. Chick-fil-A broke ground in May 2011 to become part of the Cameron Village Shopping Center community.
“Cameron Village is one of the most unique retail destinations in America,” said John Featherston, Senior Director, Real Estate with Chick-fil-A, Inc. He explained that the company wanted “a special property, in a special trading area” and that Cameron Village offered that “like virtually no other property in the country.”
The new store builds on the Cameron Village tradition of pedestrian friendliness. Shoppers throughout the Village can walk to the restaurant. Sidewalks all around the new Chick-fil-A have been extended to the curb, forming an apron for an outdoor gathering space accented with new tree beds. The main entrance is at the intersection of Cameron Street and Woodburn Road.
The Cameron Village location is a prototype; if this location is successful, Chick-fil-A envisions it as a stepping stone, developing others in diverse locations elsewhere. “Many of the operating systems for the restaurant are being pioneered at this location,” explained Featherston. “Chick-fil-A expects to learn many new facets of serving guests at this location and hopes to be able to meet the varying needs of our guests with the different seating alternatives.”
For those who want to dine with Chick-fil-A but who have limited time or want to take their food along with them, the new location offers two drive-through lanes and two pickup locations. These unique features will allow the restaurant to serve more people, more quickly, while providing a higher degree of service than the typical facilities permit.
The location is employs about 75 full and part time employees.