Wichita’s second free-standing Chick-fil-A will open at 6 a.m. on Thursday at 10515 W. 21st St., and owner/operator Jason Lansdown admits the timing is… interesting.
As Lansdown feverishly prepared to open the restaurant this week, publicity and opinions have been swirling about the company CEO’s announced opposition to gay marriage and a national “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” that on Wednesday drew crowds of supporters to restaurants across the country, including in Wichita. A counter-protest “kiss-in” is planned for today.
When I talked called him this morning, Lansdown seemed reluctant to talk much about the events of the week and said he was trying to keep from getting distracted by it all, instead focusing on getting the building and staff ready. But he did say it was bizarre to be staring down an opening date with the chain so prominently in the headlines. “There’s definitely some awareness out there, that’s for sure,” he said.
Today, Lansdown’s crew will be distributing free Chick-fil-A sandwiches near the Best Buy and Walmart at New Market Square, 21st and Maize. They’ll start at about 11 a.m. and expect the 2,000 or so sandwiches to go quickly. (They’ve been conducting the giveaways all over town this week.)
Then, on Wednesday, they’ll start the “First 100″ camp out that’s a standard Chick-fil-A practice when restaurants first open. The east-side Chick-fil-A’s camp out drew big crowds and created a parking lot tent city back in March.
Those interested in participating should show up no sooner than 5:30 a.m. and no later than 6 a.m. Employees will distribute bracelets with numbers to everyone who arrives during that time, then at 6 a.m. they’ll randomly draw 100 numbers. Those 100 people must camp on site until 6 a.m. Thursday morning, when they’ll be treated to breakfast and their prize — a coupon book good for a year’s worth of food at the restaurant. Details can be found on the restaurants Facebook page.
Once open, hours will be 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. For more information, call 316-721-2697.