Chick-fil-A, the national fast food chain known for its chicken sandwiches and waffle fries, is coming to Elmhurst.
The new Chick-fil-A site — the first stand-alone location in Queens (they have one location inside the Queens Center Mall’s food court) — will be located at 4027 82nd St., between Roosevelt Avenue and Ithaca Street. It will serve both Elmhurst and Jackson Heights.
Chick-fil-A 82nd Street In-Line will officially open on Wednesday, Feb. 24, with operation hours set from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Citing safe service as a priority, it will operate as carry-out only. Third-party delivery will be available shortly after opening. Guests can use contactless ordering and payment through the free Chick-fil-A mobile app or through online ordering.
The store will be operated by Aman Mekonen, who will be responsible for day-to-day activities of the business, including employing approximately 120 full-time and part-time team members and cultivating relationships with local organizations and neighboring businesses.
Mekonen was born in Tigray Region of Ethiopia and raised in Stamford, Connecticut. Mekonen along with his wife and son have lived in New York City for the past 15 years, and recently moved to Flushing.
Chick-fil-A chose Mekonen as the independent franchise owner and operator for his “extensive operations-focused experience.” Mekonen has a bachelor’s degree from Penn State, a master’s degree from Fordham University and previous work experience with the U.S. Army, UBS, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Greystone & Co.
Mekonen said he’s honored and excited to serve the community.
“I’m elated to have the opportunity to offer Chick-fil-A’s delicious food and signature hospitality to the diverse community of Jackson Heights,” Mekonen said. “I look forward to building future leaders by providing opportunities and helping to remove the roadblocks that people may encounter in their lives. I want my restaurant to be a place where all feel welcomed, respected and honorably served.”
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced Chick-fil-A to cancel their traditional “Chick-fil-A First 100 Grand Opening” celebration, an overnight camp-out near the restaurant that rewards the first 100 customers with one free Chick-fil-A meal per week for a year (yes, people actually do this).
Instead, the new location will surprise 100 local heroes making an impact in Queens with one free Chick-fil-A meal per week for a year.
Chick-fil-A normally donates $25,000 to Feeding America for every new restaurant opening. For the new Elmhurst location, they’ll be donating $25,000 to organizations in Queens who are fighting against hunger and caring for community members.
For more information on Chick-fil-A, visit www.chick-fil-a.com.
Editor’s note: This story was updated on Feb. 27 to correctly state the new Chick-fil-A is located in Elmhurst, not Jackson Heights. We regret the error.