Chick-fil-yay, Chick-fil-nay

(Pictured: A mural from 2012 by Gus Cutty satirizing Cathy)

Rumors that the developing Harris-Teeter complex on Merrimon Avenue would include a certain Southern fast-food drive-thru chain have been wafting through town for some months, and on July 15, food writer Emily Patrick confirmed the news. “Chick-fil-A confirmed through an email to Xpress that the new location is ‘projected to open,’ although public relations representative Bernard Hendrix says it’s too early to say exactly when.”

While there are existing Chick-fil-A locations in Asheville already, the proximity to downtown Asheville perhaps rekindled the ire some residents felt when the Georgia-based restaurant’s chief operating officer Dan Cathy made public comments in June 2012 opposing same-sex marriage. His comments were in response to reports that Chick-fil-A had made charitable contributions to organizations similarly opposed to the cause. Boycotts were called, “appreciation days” were planned in rebuttal, and eventually downtown Asheville had a mural of Cathy done up in the garb of ‘70s-era drag queen Divine.

Aside form the cultural implications of the chain’s downtown outpost, other readers lamented the encroachment of non-local business and the inevitable traffic complications of a drive-thru at the already dense, busy intersection of Merrimon and Chestnut Street.

But not everyone’s feathers are ruffled. A few readers welcome the establishment. As one reader, Mookie, put it on “Dude, Chick-fil-A is delicious and I’m gay.” Let us know what you think in the comments field.

Via Facebook

For people in AVL who like their highly processed “chicken” slathered in homophobia with a side of religion. — Scott Benson

I’d rather [have] mine slathered in religion with a side of homophobia, a side of racism, and a side of republican filibuster. Chik-fil-A-Buster — Sean Zigmund

And don’t forget the pickle! — Jeffrey Long

I think that’s super! Now I don’t have to take the garbage in my car all the way to Tunnel Road! I can put it in the parking lot of the Merrimon one! — Diane Hollifield

Vote with your $$. Don’t eat there, and they will hopefully go away eventually. With Bojangles’ across the street, can there really be that much demand for disgusting fried chicken? — jenna yarosh

I know right?! that Bojangles’ doesn’t get much business anyway! — Kelly Prime

I just lost my appetite. — Reese Huffman

Anti-gay restaurant in Asheville? I don’t think that’s going to go so well. — Casey Willette

I gotta laugh at all the hate. I love Chik-fil-A, I could care less what their COO has to say about human rights. It’s not like the people who run restaurants are elected, folks. Giving an entire chain hell over someone’s opinions is flat-out dumb. — Bruce Whitaker

Bruce, it is not about a person’s opinions. It is about the company giving millions of dollars to groups that advocate an anti gay agenda. The money you spend on that sandwich goes to hate groups. — Jill Boniske

This is our elected officials hard at work. This is proof of their ineffective and outright spineless money grab. They will sell our once-quaint and culturally significant town to any group with a financial agenda. They will use tired broken rhetoric and talking points to achieve victory come election time. Asheville is still an amazing place to live, but what are they thinking! Who signs off on this? Who dissents? How many more horrible decisions are they going to allow (like Merrimon isn’t a horrible traffic nightmare — now with two chain groceries, it will become worse). Not really sure how the revenue outweighs the congestive future nightmare. Thank your City Council, people, and the mayor. Thank the county commissioners; thank them for working so hard to keep Asheville drunk on craft beer, and shopping at the same chain grocery stores, and staying at high-dollar boutique hotels. I am really ashamed of these decisions. — Marshall Pyle

Seems like downtown is starting to go more corporate. It’s funny that it is mostly centered around the Merrimon exit (Patton Avenue in West Asheville is already lost). I couldn’t believe when I got home from tour and there was a big ugly brick wall that said “Staples” on it, right by the interstate. Made me feel like I was in the wrong city. I must say that I feel like that has been somewhat balanced out by the awesome artwork on the bridge. Someone should propose a budget to Staples to paint their brick wall with some cool local Asheville art. In Hawaii, they only use low-pressure-sodium street lights and have size regulations on business signs to preserve the natural beauty and cut down on light pollution. Jus’ sayin’! We are an artistic community that believes in supporting local business, that is something to be proud of, and is a reason many folks travel here to spend “out of town money.” Let’s keep Asheville unique! — John-Paul Miller

Let’s see … What have we got on Merrimon? McDonald’s, of course. Subway. Jersey Mike’s, Bojangles, Wendy’s, Atlanta Bread Company, what am I leaving out? China Wok. On the positive tip, we also have Marco’s, Circle In The Square, Rise’n’Shine, The Hop, Urban Burrito, Zen Sushi, HomeGrown and Dough. I suppose we should be grateful that we don’t have Burger King, Taco Bell, Krispy Creme, etc. And of course I just can’t wait to see the incredibly clever solution for managing traffic at the Merrimon/Chestnut intersection. There is one, right? — Dave Erickson

Talk about a square peg in a round hole … or, a turd in a punch bowl. How stupid for Harris Teeter to choose that chain. Why not a real-food, locally owned restaurant? I see no reason to ever go there. — Nila Scribner

My apartment already smells like Bojangles’ half the time … — Mister-Photon Haptic-Interface Furr

But imagine all those minimum wage jobs! — Susan Troianello

It’s tasty chicken — nothing more, nothing less. — Kathleen Hilker-Lawlor

They can’t tolerate gays but if you walk in there in a cow costume with udders sticking out from your pelvic area, you get a free sandwich! — Janet Swan

Mmmm — chicken soo good — Hugh Owings

Tsk-tsk! let it go ! — Eddie Baker


Boo! Go away Chic-fil-A! We don’t want you or your moral majority biggotry here. Go open up at Dolly World where you belong. — John Lomax

If you don’t want to help them, pipe down. The year of the big anti-gay boycott produced their most profitable year, spurred by 12 percent growth. — indy499

What an uninformed liberal robot you are. You find a “liberal cause” and cheer for it without knowing the facts. Chick-fil-A does provide benefits: medical, dental and vision. That’s what all the protesting was about; they wouldn’t provide benefits to partners of employees in same-sex couples. They reversed their decision some weeks later and now cover same-sex partners. — Mike

I’m not trying to either help them or hurt them, and the likelihood of a posted comment on this site having any effect at all on anyone or any business is slim to none. While marches, protests and attempts at boycotts have and will continue to have the opposite effect, as you note. Thanks for the advice, but I decline to accept it. — Dionysis

Dude, Chick-fil-A is delicious and I’m gay. — Mookie



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2 thoughts on “Chick-fil-yay, Chick-fil-nay

  1. Dionysis

    Chick-Fil-A has at its very cultural core bigotry, no matter how its parsed. As bothersome as that is, they do have a right to hold those views, and to fun other bigoted groups.

    Those that cite a handful of minimum wage jobs and the inevitable increase in trash on the roads and traffic issues have a point as well.

    For me, the biggest negative is that they are the world’s top abuser of chickens, treating them inhumanely; it seems they pick and choose the biblical passages they’ll support and which they’ll ignore. Being “good stewards” is apparently limited to their profit margins.

  2. Scotty_Mack

    Who even eats fast food anymore? Isn’t that the best way to destroy the local economy and poison your own body? I can’t think of a better punishment for someone eating at Chick-fil-a than having to eat chick-fil-a food (or macdonalds or wendy’s or burger king, etc.) These chains poison their customers slowly. Revenge is already served…

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