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Chicken Sandwiches Moving Closer

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, August 25, 2010, at 09:40AM
Chick-fil-A Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Hundreds lined up for free chicken sandwiches earlier this month when Atlanta-based chain Chick-fil-A opened its 1500th store next to USC.

While the company’s press releases touted the store’s location as “downtown Los Angeles,” Downtowners looking for a quick chicken sandwich during their lunch break can testify that the eatery just isn’t quite close enough to be considered ‘downtown’.

Still, the store should be seen as a sign that the chain that claims to have invented the chicken breast sandwich might be growing more interested in the Downtown market.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that urban locations in L.A., Chicago and Washington, D.C. are considered testbeds as the chain moves beyond freestanding stores and food courts.

The chain averages 70 new stores yearly, but less than 10 of those will be stores built as “in-line stores” — or stores integrated into urban blocks — Chick-fil-A’s senior vice president of marketing Steve Robinson told the paper.

Urban locations have often proved difficult for growing fast food chains. Local favorite In-N-Out Burger has long been a name that Downtown residents have wanted to see in their neighborhood, but the rumors that reached blogdowntown over the years were that the chain was stymied by the lack of a drive-through.

Despite the lack of stores, Chick-fil-A is no stranger to Downtown. The company’s trademark cows visit the central city regularly to film commercials.  A trio of April shoots included locations in the Financial District, Arts District and Central City East.

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