Chick-fil-A to SR?

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Of particular interest to our Southern transplants — Chick-fil-A is eyeballing Santa Rosa. Again.

Rumors that the wildly popular Southeastern fried chicken sandwich chain might be seeking a Northbay spot surfaced earlier this week. The spot being bandied around as a likely locale: the former Burger King at 1452 Mendocino Ave. (near Santa Rosa High School and the Junior College).

Yes, we know this isn’t exactly earth-shattering news. Unless you’re from the South. Then, it might be. Because we’re told there’s one on just about every corner and they’re as popular as, well, In-N-Out are to West Coasters.

Insiders at Chick-fil-A tell BiteClub they are definitely looking at Santa Rosa as a possible location for a new store, but that any opening would be at least a year away. “We are growing our foot print on the West Coast,” said Brenda Morrow, who works in the company’s Atlanta-based public relations department. She added that the company had not identified any specific location yet. Meaning don’t get your knickers in a twist just yet.

Longtime residents may remember the Chick-fil-A at Santa Rosa Plaza years ago — we looked it up and it opened in 1982. When and why it closed remains a mystery to us more recent transplants (and it doesn’t happen to be in our newspaper archive). Do you remember?

With the first 100 customers* winning a free meal a week for a year, you can understand some of the excitement the restaurants engender among it’s indoctrinated. That, or it’s just a Southern thing.

If you’re a kale eater…not so much.

Author: biteclub

Food Dining and Restaurants in Sonoma County and beyond, is Wine Country dining with Drive-Thru Sensibility.

Share This Post On


  1. Chik-fil-A’s owner has a distinct point of view on homosexuality that many of us find horrifying. There are many companies with ownership that our personal politics don’t match. There are many that do match. I try to patronize companies that fit with my beliefs, but I also give other businesses a chance to win my dollars because the employees who work there don’t necessarily ascribe to the owners’ politics.

  2. So untrue. The hate is showing in your post, and YOU are perpetuating a lie. Shame on you.

  3. The BEST chicken nuggets by far, anywhere! No sketchy ingredients, great seasoning, real breast meat. Waffle fries to die for. I’ll be there regularly!!!

  4. Twisting words — Chick-fil-A has been slandered. It’s an absolute shame.

  5. Really? you dont read/watch the news? Get informed.. Chik fil a boycott is NOT about health. Its about the fact that they promote hate against certain groups of people. They fire single mothers because they feel that women should be stay at home moms. if you dont believe me look it up. Eating Chik Fil A is the same as feeding your children hate. Yummy.

  6. Well Teri, you and others who spout out hate are sad! We need to get America back on track so, I will love CFA in SR.

  7. What a rude statement towards the south. I lived in NorCal for quite a while and saw just as many obese people there as well. Eating and self-control aren’t the fault of restaurants – it is the fault of the individual making poor choices. That area if I am right does have Taco Bell, Mambo’s, etc. – not “health food junkie options either.” There is so much “local” in Santa Rosa and that is half of the problem – limited options. But don’t blame obesity on a restaurant. You could get fat eating out anywhere – local or not.

  8. I for one will not be eating at a place that supports hatred of others because of how they were born. How is it being “religious” to discriminate against others? If that is a religion I don’t want any part of it.

  9. Super excited for those delicious golden peanut oil fried morsels of chicken flesh! Think of all the gas I’ll save not having to drive alllll the way to Fairfield as well!

    And to those of you who plan on boycotting or picketing or crying or whatever you children want to do, I’ll make sure to order extra food every visit, just to make up for you ;D

  10. I went to the one in Sacramento a few weeks ago. I had heard it was wonderful, great, tasty, etc. Well, my chicken sandwich was lukewarm, fries were soggy. The iced tea was pretty good. Will I go back? Well, i did get a reciept for a free meal so I might go back for that. Other than that, I won’t waste my money. Not worth it at all. A lukewarm chicken sandwich, with no sauce, two little slices of limp pickle, soggy fries and an iced tea for almost $9. NO WAY!

  11. Screw You.

  12. We have missed Chick-fil-A since it left. They were our only option of mall food. My mother used to love their soup. We have also stopped in Fairfield just to have it. It’s really funny to see protests when there are so many McDonalds and Jack in the Box drive-ins in every city.. My son is loving that he has one near him on the east coast and no, he is not fat. You can choose to eat fast food or not. The chicken is delicious. We will definitely eat there if it comes back! It’s much better than the other chains.

  13. A fascist corporation if I have ever heard of one… “A 2011 letter to Vermont artist Bo Muller-Moore who screen prints t-shirts reading “Eat More Kale” demanded that he cease printing the shirts and turn over his website.”

  14. All the anti-ChikFil-A people here are absolutely uproariously hilarious. I love that millionaire trust funder never-worked-a-job-in-his-life Ty Jones is on here screaming that he won’t be eating there, who cares Ty? Thanks to the people on here who said some of the items tasted great or not, I’m willing to try it and taste it. Who knows if it will be good or not taste-wise unless you try it.

  15. I am surprised that in addition to the numerous donations to organizations that support hate towards others, destruction of our civil liberties, etc. no one has mentioned the horrible chicken that these “delicious”, hand-breaded patties you all are obsessed with are made from. The chickens are coming from huge factory confined feed lots where they have no access to the outdoors and are pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones. The average chicken has the ability to take about 3 steps before it’s over-sized breasts make it impossible to even keep themselves upright. Their beaks are removed to prevent chickens being damaged while they share a small cage with 25 other chickens. They are fed food that they are not designed to digest (GMO corn and other grains.) They also fry the french fries in canola oil which is one of the most genetically modified and pesticide laden crops in this country. The safety, environmental, and social implications of businesses like these are unfathomable.

    I agree that our only avenue of recourse is to vote with our dollar. I for one will NEVER eat there and will encourage others to pass it on by. The next time you really want a fried chicken sandwich- make one with your family, at your own home, with some local chicken that both tastes better and is better for the environment, the local economy, and the life of the bird. I promise you will have a hard time going back to the Crap-fil-A you thought was so amazing!

  16. Um , Heather, Mike is throwing out hate speach…. I thought you were plonking idiots like him.

  17. Are you serious?! 3rd St Aleworks or Chilenos just to name two local restaurants. If you are making a reference to fast food places on Mendocino as McDonald’s has been there for years..during the years of let-me-get-to-be-a-fat-ass-and-not-care-what-I-eat. Considering we are one of the most unhealthy industrialized countries, it would only make sense if you try to promote riding a bike and hiking that a fast-food shouldn’t be in that equation. Of course, you can say, hey don’t eat there. However, when they change the laws for those who have diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol to start paying more for health insurance, then I am game for it. When I have to pay for the fat-lazy asses that prefer to throw down on some God forsaken fried chicken skin and call it yummy…no thanks…just move your unhealthy-self to the South.

  18. I believe that when you buy from a company you are essentially casting a vote for that business and what they stand for. Most people have no idea what their favorite companies are up to, so thanks for the heads-up about Chik-Fil-a.

    However, when you say that if you go there you are a “bad person,” I have to take offense. Maybe your decision to go there is bad, but that doesn’t make you a bad person. Are all your clothes fair trade? Because last time I checked, most clothing is made in sweat shops that “actively hurt people.”

    Don’t go throwing stones in your smug glass house.

  19. There are already fast food restaurants, as well as healthier options, on Mendocino because–news flash–teens eat a lot!

    If there’s going to be a new fast food outlet, I’m glad it’s Chick-fil-a. I have the book “Eat This, Not That” and it says that Chik-fil-a has some of the healthiest fast food options out there. Not that fast food is good for you, but compared to what else is out there…

  20. Saying they “donate to causes that aren’t popular with some folks” is a pretty _huge_ understatement. The owner donates to hate groups, and groups that actively try to ruin the lives of people. This isn’t your average “Well, I don’t agree with what Walmart does, but it is kind of indirect, so I’ll still shop there”. If you put money in Chik-Fil-A’s pockets, you actively hurt people. You support causes like Exodus International.

    Yes, if you go there, you are a bad person, no matter how good the chicken is.

  21. I remember chick-fil-a growing up In Santa Rosa! There’s one in The Solano mall and I stop there every timeon my way to Sacramento! How good is it? There’s one on Jamboree road in Irvine and I don’t even live in SoCal, but I know where to get some Chick-fil-a!!! I’m one happy camper!

  22. The 1452 Mendocino address was once home to the Sarubi Bros’ Park Auto Market (PAM) and then Don’s Park Auto Market.

  23. Please, do you really check out the political contributions of everywhere you eat. Don’t go there if it’s so awful.

  24. They had to leave the Plaza because they have some morals and wanted to be closed on Sunday.
    There should be more companies out there like them. With a world loosing it’s morals every day it is refreshing to see a business take a stand like that. My whole famiy will support them if they come to Santa Rosa.

  25. by the definition of bigot (” bigot is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from their own or intolerant of people of different political views, ethnicity, race, class, religion, profession, sexuality or gender.”)
    Sounds like you are being a bit of a bigot and hypocrite. They do not agree with some peoples beliefs, and you do not believe in their beliefs. Would love to see what the public would do if they act out like these cry babies and refuse to serve the people they don’t agree with. If you don’t agree with their practices then you are free to feel that way, but why do you have to resort to name calling and making a huge deal about it.” Its funny how it is such a travesty for them to not accept something that is against their religion, but its perfectly acceptable for people on here to call people from the south hillbillies and uneducated, and obese. Guess its only ok to call people names and make fun of them if the are on the other coast and does not describe anyone you know.

  26. Yes! Yes! Chick-fil-A is amazing…. Sorry, I kno everyone original to the west coast is just so enlightened, but I hardly think that this is going to lead to an increase in obesity!!!

    Burger King, McDonalds, and even the wonderful in-&-out Burger r not exactly the epitome of healthy food choices either and CA is littered with them, as well as the every so healthy KFC!!

    Let’s face it, if you are looking for healthy eating, fast food may not be the best option…. If I was counting calories, I don’t think I would be dining at Dairy Queen or Baskin Robins, but it is always a great day at Chick-fil-A … except on Sunday!!!!

  27. A business may donate to any place they wish. Agreeing with the Bite Club, knowing to whom they donate allows me to make an informed decision of businesses to support.

  28. Never been there, never will…don’t like to eat with bigots

  29. Give me 1 or 2 “local” restaurants that would be better?

  30. I would go to Fairfield too!!!

  31. YES!!!!!!! SIGN ME UP TO WORK THERE!!!!! I Love the FOOD!!!!!!!

  32. Yes, I remember them before. The food was really good, esp the fries. RE: their social stance….the Santa Rosa location will just give us one more place to place protesters on the sidewalk. Bring it on….

  33. They have the right to donate to whatever right wing hate groups they want with their profits and I have the right to never spend a dime there, and the right to influence others not to spend a dime there either, in order to lessen those profits.

  34. Goll dang, y’all. Line up to clog yer arteries even more! Yee haw!! More fried food! More fried food! More fried food! More fried food! (repeat as necessary)

  35. Chick-fil-A is so gross. The Press Democrat is reporting on a fast food chain opening. I guess the lack of content is due to budget cuts in their writing department.

    Next week the Bite Club will inform us where the new Green Burrito will open up. Fat people rejoice

  36. With childhood obesity on a constant rise, it would idiotic to put a fast food high salt calorie and fat restaurant next to a high school and college. Maybe this works in the South where obesity is welcomed but here in Northern California, not only is this chain not within our community, it is just down right wrong. Seriously, get something local here. Mendocino avenue and the JC is not fast-food row..that does not fit in that area.

  37. I think it would be awesome to have Chick-fil-A back. I remember going to the one in the SR Plaza. The food court was upstairs onj bothe sides of the mail window looking down 4th street. It has a great food. Always tasted good. We found one in Roseville and stoped for a bite. Same great food. My girl is Hooked on it. Whenever we are there she always ask to stop for a bite. Being across the SRJC would be nice. Especially if they can stay open about 30-60 minutes after the last class. That would help any students for a quick bite, that is yummy and different. Just like getting In-N-Out was worth the wait, this will be too .Looking foward to seeing it arrive.

  38. Thank you Who Cares?. I share your view point. Question? Why don’t people mind a Buddhist artifact in a restaurant etc?

  39. Hard to understand some peoples logic here…..displaying of religious items in your place of business and your right to practice your religion of choice is a lot different than actively supporting groups that are attempting to squash peoples rights because of their life style or religious choices.
    As for “it’s THEIR business and we don’t have to eat there if we don’t want to….” I wonder if your opinion would change if they supported groups that say……were for the ending of women’s suffrage, would you think it was still THEIR business and you don’t have to eat there if you don’t want to?

  40. Interesting logic, Eric. So in your mind, two wrongs make a right? Or, hatred of one kind is justified as long as you don’t go so far as murder? hmm…..

  41. Thanks for posting the facts, Whinegrl. These bigots will not be getting any of my money, regardless of whether their version of fast food is delicious or not. WinShape has specifically stated, “We do not accept homosexual couples because of the statement in our contract.” (See:

    Neither Sonoma County nor any of its residents should support any business that denies equality to anyone.

  42. I would be delighted to have Chick-Fil-A come to Santa Rosa, and just hope the SR City Council doesn’t give it the same miserable experience that Lowe’s (which never opened) and In-N-Out Burger received when they tried to open locations here. And I love the tolerance displayed by many of the open-minded leftist commenters here–not. The same ones who probably have “Against Abortion? Don’t Have One” stickers on their cars. Last time I checked, Chick-Fil-A doesn’t support the killing of babies or gays or anyone else.

  43. Eat at Chick-fil-A or don’t, but if you do — it’s good to know that they contribute to causes that some in our community find upsetting. I’d rather be educated, and make an educated choice of my own than be a passive consumer.

    Everyone has a right to express logical, thoughtful perspectives here. Right or left or somewhere in the middle. But I’ll delete your post pronto if you start jabbing at my commenters.

    Be nice. That means all of you. I’m not above blocking IP addresses.

  44. I wasn’t burn in the 80s. I take it they were closed before I was even born in ’90? Had no clue we had had one at the mall…

  45. Dear Phil. Maybe you want to put “Getting A Clue” on your Xmas list. I might also suggest “A Sense of Humor” followed by a resolution to lighten up this next year.

    Chick-fil-A is actually one of the most popular restaurant chains east of the Mississippi. Whether or not you agree is irrelevant.

  46. Oh joy! I totally remember and I was just little back then. I remember someone always stood out front and offered samples and I always ate them up! I recall loving good ol’ Chick-Fil-A – can’t wait to see if it’s still as good. Oh, and waffle fries – I’m pretty sure they had amazing waffle fries. YUM!

  47. Hope Chil-fil-A does a good due diligence before moving here and understands that its kind of BIGOTRY will not fly in Sonoma County.

  48. Please come back!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. LOL @ Phil B and his “utter disgust”…Who CARES what people like. Don’t worry, your over-hyped haute cuisine will still be available buddy.

  50. As a Christian, I obviously have no problem with who they donate to. On the other hand I also have no problem with Buddhist artifacts in Thai restaurants, references to Islam in Middle Eastern restaurants or Judaism in my local deli. If it’s good food I say “Asalamalakum, la heim and let’s eat!”

  51. Yay! I luv Chick Fil-A. Worked there for two years when I was 15. Got a $1000 Scholarship that paid for my books when I attended Heald College. So happy not to have to go to Fairfield when I’m craving a chick fil-a sandwich. The food court moved over by Sears and I don’t think company wanted to spend the money to move over to the new food court site especially since we lost a lot of business when new management took over – the husband (who was manager) was a real jerk to customers and employees. Had we not lost so many customers I believe Chick Fil-A would have invested in the cost of move. Jean Claude Van Dam ate there with his family one year – I was off that day though!! good times!

  52. They are also suing a guy for selling EAT MORE KALE t-shirts. Really, are they going to sell Kale? I’ll support a business time uses their time and money better. I won’t be eating here, there are way better local places for the same money.

  53. Barf….you people get excited about disgusting food. Santa Rosans have the worst taste in food with the exception of a few restaurants.

    The fact that the biteclub author calls ChickFilA “wildy popular” is just sad and untrue. You are over-hyping a fast food chain….hellllllllooo. The PD has found its bottom….time for rehab

  54. it’s still a free country…for at least a few more years……they are free to take conduct their business and you are free to not go there…and I am still free to support them with my business.

  55. Chick-fil-A?????

    And people wonder why they are so fat……


    It reminds me of the photo that the PD ran of the opening day at 5 Guys. Everyone in the photo looked like they weighed 500 pounds.

  56. miss the point much? That’s what freedom is all about…they can give to whom ever they want and you can eat where ever you want

    I certainly don’t want to spend my money with someone who is going to donate it to a cause I do not support

  57. I worked in SR Plaza while Chik-Fil-A was there. They revamped the mall for it’s 10 year anniversary in ’93, and closed the food court for 6 months. Chik-Fil-A, having been a separate ‘store’ across a walkway from the food court, was the only place to get food for 6 months, except Sundays when you had no options.
    SR Plaza decided to only accept national chains in the new food court, which is why the great independant donut shop and chinese place went away. They also had issues with a ‘store’ being closed on Sundays as part of their lease agreement, so didn’t opt to renew Chik-Fil-A’s when it’s 10 year lease was up in late ’93.

    Now, my sister in North Carolina torments me with her easy access to Chik-Fil-A instead.

  58. Sweet! No more driving to Fairfield!

  59. So let me get this straight. It’s ok for a business to donate to organizations as long as you support that organizations view point.

  60. Their food was good fast food, as fast food goes and yes I remember it in the mall. If those are the non-profits they give to, that’s THEIR business and you don’t have to eat there. Most of those non-profits do great work.

  61. I worked at Chik-Fil-A in the mall back in the early 90’s and the food was good when I worked there. I do remember that the managers were an older couple who were very religious but they were very kind. I don’t eat fast food any longer but I might have to go one more time for old times sake.

  62. Ya, sorry, I’ll skip the anti gay politics.

    I’ll also challenge those who support equality to skip them as well. Sure you might think a simple sandwich can’t make much of a difference but it is more the act of no, I won’t do business with a company that actively goes out of its way to harm people.

    Not one cent of my hard errand dollars are going to be used to deny anyone equality.

  63. Want a side order of anti-gay rhetoric with your chicken sandwich?

    Chik-Fil-A might be able to help you with that.

    According to, the fast food company donated nearly $2 million in 2009 to groups that have anti-gay agendas.

    IRS 990 forms show that WinShape, the restaurant chain’s charitable foundation which was founded by Chick-Fil-A’s chairman S. Truett Cathy in 1994, gave to the following groups in 2009:

    Marriage & Family Legacy Fund: $994,199
    Fellowship Of Christian Athletes: $480,000
    National Christian Foundation: $240,000
    Focus On The Family: $12,500
    Eagle Forum: $5,000
    Exodus International: $1,000
    Family Research Council: $1,000

  64. Meh….the chicken is so so but they do have the best waffle fries I have ever had.
    For the record, “in-n-out” of the East coast would be the one and only, White Castle!

  65. I remember! Love them and always made it a point to stop there when traveling in the south. You are right, they are the in n out of the East Coast! I also had a friend that worked there when it was in the mall, even dressed up in the chicken suit!

  66. Through WinShape, Chick-fil-A has given $3 million to anti-gay social conservative groups since 2003, with a total of $2 million in 2009 alone.
    They can stay away as far as I’m concerned……

  67. I am huge fan of Chik-fil-A fan for many reasons including the great customer service. I am religious but they way they respectfully treat every customer is the way all stores should adhere too regardless of religion. As far as the food is concerned; were you aware they hand-bread each chicken filet on order?

  68. LOVE Chick Fil-A and I’m not from the South! I do remember their spot in the Plaza in the early 90’s. Another good friend who lives in Napa is a huge fan, and drives to Fairfield for her fix. It would be great to have one closer. Besides, it fits in with the trend of all of the Southern food migrating to Sonoma County- doesn’t it?

  69. As much as I despise In n’ Out, they’re the French Laundry compared to Upchuck-fil-A.

  70. Possibly the best news ever! Chick-fil-A definitely rivals In and Out in my book.

  71. I was and stll am a Chik Fil A Fan and would be stoked to have one in Santa Rosa :)
    The Chik Fil-A used to be in the food court at the Santa Rosa Plaza. I was young when they left, but I think it was largely because they were closed on Sundays AND the mall was revamping the food court. Quite a few of the smaller food court places started vanishing (there was a donut shop and a fabulous ice cream place, a 1 potato 2, hot dog on a stick, etc) .
    I was happy when hot dog on a stick came back. love their lemonade :)

  72. May not have made it because, as I recall, they were closed on Sundays as a matter of corporate policy…seems that is not good in a mall location…just call me crazy…

  73. I know they donate to causes that aren’t popular with some folks, but it’s something I grew up with and would love to have close by. The last Chick-fil-A sandwich I had was in Tustin, CA back in 09. Prior to that in Winston Salem, NC in 05………

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>