Emeryville Chick-Fil-A
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Emeryville Chick-fil-A Officially Announces Grand Opening Date

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After a “false alarm,” Chick-fil-A has announced the official Grand Opening date of their Emeryville location.

“We are extremely grateful for the community’s patience,” they announced today on social media. “We are excited to announce we will open our doors on April 27th!”

Emeryville and Fremont Auto Mall Independent Franchise Operator John Hooper.

LGBTQ+ Franchise Owner

Reaction to the chain opening in Emeryville has been divisive based on the company’s history of donating to religious organizations that oppose Gay marriage and abortion. A history and reputation that the company is working to overcome.

It was a surprise to most when it was shared that the independent franchise owner of this location was himself gay. California native John Hooper began working at Chick-Fil-A a dishwasher when he turned 16 and went on to work in every position until he became a General Manager. In 2015, he was selected as the Operator of the Auto Mall Parkway location in Fremont.

“Being someone of color, part of the LGBTQ community, and a father, I take pride in creating an inclusive environment where we treat our guests and team members with honor, dignity, and respect,” they shared on their Emeryville Instagram account back on February 13.

Hooper and his partner Gustavo have two children and list their hobbies as traveling, cooking, hiking and visiting museums.

Hooper alongside ECAP Founder Nellie Hannon, Emeryville Mayor John Bauters and other volunteers.

Recent Charity & Community Outreach Efforts

The Chick-fil-A Corporation has also been working to endear itself to the local community by donating money to local causes including ECAP (Emeryville Citizens Assistance Program). They recently volunteered time and presented a $15K check alongside Emeryville Mayor John Bauters who is himself gay.

They have also committed $25,000 to Feeding America and have recognized 100 local heroes making an impact in the greater Oakland area by providing them with free Chick-fil-A meals for a year.

The Emeryville location will be participating in Chick-fil-A Shared Table, an initiative that redirects surplus food from the restaurant to local soup kitchens, shelters, food banks and nonprofits in need.

Some LGBTQ+ Remain Skeptical

This outreach has received a mixed reaction from some in the community. A Twitter poll responded to by a small number of followers showing that the chain has a lot of work to do to endear themselves to folks that feel marginalized by CFA’s policies.

“Does this lone gesture make up for decades of donations to organizations actively trying to end safe access to abortion and oppressing the LGTBQ+ community?” noted one commenter whose stance was supported by many others. “Are we this easily bought off, or is this just the politicians?”

Emeryville Chick-fil-A Grand Opening

The Emeryville restaurant is the 21st location in the greater Bay Area. The location will offer dine-in and carry-out with delivery options available. The 3,750 sq. ft. restaurant space that was previously a Panera will seat 44 guests inside with an additional 26 on their 860 sq. ft. patio.

Orders for pickup or dine-in can be placed through the Chick-fil-A App or online. Chick-fil-A One members receive points which can be used to redeem rewards.

The location will employ approximately 130 full and part-time people.

Location Address: 1525 40th St., Emeryville, CA, 94608.
Operating Hours: 6:30 am to 10:00 pm. Monday Through Saturday (closed Sunday)

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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

3 Comments

  1. Freedom of expression and DE&I (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, NOT cancel culture! Like everybody else, Chick-fil-A has the right to contribute to any cause of their choosing. Also, as a community that progressively champions diversity and inclusion, Emeryville oughts to welcome and embrace Chick-fil-A regardless of their political philosophy.

    • Ten plus years ago, the founder of Chik-fil-A donated his own money to some charities that liberals consider anti LGBTQ. Being seen as pro-religion is zapreshcheno in Emeryville. There is no tolerance for diverse viewpoints in Emeryville. Conservatism is not considered inclusion in Emeryville. Emeryville residents are subject to the cultural hegemony of ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, NPR, NYT, SFGate, WashPost, etc..

  2. The restaurant was jam-packed last Thursday & Friday. I don’t think the boycott went anywhere.

    Yes, CFA was founded by a conservative Christian family (and Republican megadonor) the Cathys. Who cares? If the food is good, people will eat it.

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