Grand opening of a Chick-Fil-A restaurant on Old Country Road...

Grand opening of a Chick-Fil-A restaurant on Old Country Road in Westbury in 2019. Credit: Jeff Bachner

The nation’s top chicken chain will be getting bigger on Long Island.

Chick-fil-A wants to add at least four more restaurants to the Island, according to building plans filed with local towns.

The Atlanta-based chain, which entered the Long Island market in 2015 with a restaurant in Port Jefferson Station, now has seven restaurants in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

"We want ample opportunities to serve New Yorkers great food and excellent service, which is why we’re pursuing new sites in the Long Island area," Chick-fil-A Inc. said last week

The four new restaurants planned for Long Island would be in Huntington Station, Levittown, Riverhead and West Babylon, according to local town officials.

Also, Chick-fil-A plans to add a restaurant in Rosedale, Queens, but a section of the parking lot is across the city line in Nassau.

Chick-fil-A said the Queens and Huntington Station restaurants will open in 2022, and said it was pursuing new restaurants in the other three locations.

"While we are still early in the process, we are happy to share that we are actively pursuing new locations in West Babylon, Riverhead and Levittown and we look forward to working through the approval process with those respective cities," the company said.

All Chick-fil-A restaurants are franchises.

Here’s the rundown of what Chick-fil-A is planning for Long Island:

Huntington Station: A Chick-fil-A restaurant is planned for a site near Target, which is at 124 E. Jericho Turnpike. The Huntington Planning Department granted conditional approval of the plan Feb. 3, 2021, said Lauren Lembo, spokeswoman for the town. The Town Board modified the Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions on May 11 for the drive-thru, said Lembo, who said building permits still are needed for the project.

Levittown: An application for new construction was submitted to the town of Hempstead on Sept. 28 to build a 5,226-square-foot Chick-fil-A at 3859 Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown, said Frederick A. Jawitz, acting building commissioner for the town. The property is the site of a former Honda City car dealership.

Chick-fil-A is seeking special exceptions for outdoor seating and a drive-thru from the town’s board of zoning appeals, Jawitz said. Other town reviews also are needed, he said.

Riverhead: Chick-fil-A is seeking to open a 5,625-square-foot restaurant at Old Country and Mill roads as part of a larger retail development that the Long Island Cauliflower Association proposed for Riverhead.

The restaurant would have 70 indoor seats, 20 outdoor patio seats, and a three-lane drive-thru with queuing capacity for 39 vehicles, said Joann Cannon, legislative aide for the Riverhead supervisor’s office.

The applicant is John Bokina Jr., a representative of the association, which owns the site. Bokina submitted a site plan application, including architectural elevations for the proposed building, Cannon said. The application is under review by the planning board, she said. The Architectural Review Board is reviewing the building elevations and working with the applicant on minor redesigns, she said.

West Babylon: Chick-fil-A is planning to take over the site of a former Payless shoe store in the Great South Bay Shopping Center, said Jason Sobel, an agent who works in the Jericho office of Ripco Real Estate and represents the shopping center in leasing.

A site plan has been submitted to the town of Babylon for a restaurant that would be a newly constructed 4,947-square-foot building at the northwest corner of Montauk Highway and Brookvale Avenue. It would have 98 seats inside, 24 seats outside and a drive-thru.

Babylon’s planning board had the proposal on the agenda for its Feb. 7 meeting but the record for the public hearing was extended to March 7, said Kevin Bonner, spokesman for the town.

A Chick-fil-A is planned for the Great South Bay Shopping Center...

A Chick-fil-A is planned for the Great South Bay Shopping Center in West Babylon. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Queens: A 5,252-square-foot Chick-fil-A is under construction at 249-23 Rockaway Blvd. in the 5 Towns Shopping Center. The free-standing building is in Queens, but a portion of the parking lot is in Woodmere. Marc Thompson, who is listed on Chick-fil-A’s website as the franchisee of the restaurant, referred Newsday’s request for comment to Chick-fil-A’s corporate communications department.

The restaurant will have indoor and outdoor dining, and a play area, according to plans approved by the New York City Department of Buildings.

Fast Growth

A family-owned, private company, Chick-fil-A Inc. has more than 2,700 restaurants in 47 states, Washington, D.C., and Canada.

The business is the biggest chicken chain in the United States, based on total sales volume, and the third-largest restaurant chain overall, according to Technomic, a restaurant and retail industry research firm in Chicago.

From 2019 to 2020, Chick-fil-A's U.S. sales grew by 12.7% to $13.7 billion and its number of locations increased by 4.2% to 2,598 restaurants, according to Technomic.

"Both growth figures are quite impressive for such a large chain. For comparisons sake, in 2020 McDonald’s sales only increased 0.3% and Taco Bell’s sales were flat," said Kevin Schimpf, Technomic's director of industry research and insights.

Technomic has not finalized its 2021 restaurant sales data but Chick-fil-A having large and efficient drive-thrus has helped it boost its sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, Schimpf said.

Also, chicken eateries overall "had a solid year in general, with other chains like Popeyes, Wingstop and Raising Cane’s all hitting double-digit sales growth in 2020," he said.

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