Locals line up for Chick-fil-A’s Kings County debut

Welcome: Franchise owner Brandon Hurst welcomes the first patrons of the new Chick-fil-A location, who lined up outside the storefront at 7 a.m.

The chicken has landed!

Southern fried chicken chain Chick-fil-A celebrated the grand opening of its inaugural Kings County location in Prospect Heights on Thursday.

Brooklynites hankering for the Georgia-based poultry purveyor’s golden-fried fowl endured long lines that stretched out the door and down Flatbush Avenue from the eatery’s newly renovated storefront between Pacific Street and Fifth Avenue, where one fan said the wait to get inside was nothing compared to the wait for Chick-fil-A’s Brooklyn debut.

“It’s about time they had one around here,” said Crown Heights resident Jared Foyer. “I’m very excited.”

The chicken chain’s arrival across the street from Barclay’s Center sets the stage for a food-fight with next door neighbor Shake Shack — which sat mostly empty on Thursday as Chick-fil-A staffers struggled to fry up enough chicken to satisfy the overwhelming demand.

But the owner of the new Chick-fil-A location didn’t want to boast, saying he only hoped to be a good neighbor.

“I’m so excited to open our doors to this community and to offer our guests an environment where they can enjoy great food and comfort with friends and family,” said Brandon Hurst.

Open for business: Franchise owner Brandon Hurst welcomes hundreds of diners to the first Chick-fil-A outpost in Brooklyn in Sept. 12.
Photo by Aidan Graham

Hurst’s neighborly talk belies the cut-throat recruiting tactics the eatery employed in the weeks prior to Thursday’s opening, when a Chick-fil-A operative allegedly tried to poach staff from a nearby juice bar — much to its owner’s chagrin.

Hurst denied any involvement in that incident and blamed the incident on a rogue corporate employee.

While the restaurant’s new workers may or may not have juicing experience, the eatery expects to employ approximately 120 staffers to run the chicken joint everyday except Sunday — when all Chick-fil-A locations are closed to conform with the Southern Baptist values of its now-deceased founder.

Those religious roots have landed the chain at the center of multiple controversies, including forking over big bucks to fund Christian organizations that discriminate against the LGBTQ community, according to a Think Progress report.

But Hurst said everyone is welcome to enjoy his tasty fried chicken, saying politics in Georgia won’t affect his business here in Brooklyn.

“If you can love yourself, that’s all we care about here,” he said.

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agraham@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at twitter.com/aidangraham95.
Order up: The eatery was packed all day during its opening ceremony.
Photo by Aidan Graham

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