Chick-fil-A’s largest location in the world opened in lower Manhattan last month, and though New Yorker Magazine labeled the chain as “creepy,” it is thriving in the city.
New Yorker’s Dan Piepenbring wrote a piece last week titled, “Chick-fil-A’s Creepy Infiltration of New York City,” in which he bemoaned that the Christian-run chain now has four locations in the Big Apple.
He recounted with a sense of nostalgic glee in 2015 there were protests marking the opening of its first location in the city.
Piepenbring then pointed out when Chick-fil-A opened another restaurant in Queens in 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a boycott to protest CEO Dan Cathy’s past statements in opposition to same-sex marriage and the company’s charitable foundation’s support of pro-traditional values political groups.
However, the reporter lamented, the company’s newest location launched with great fanfare, and “New York has taken to Chick-fil-A.”
“One of the Manhattan locations estimates that it sells a sandwich every six seconds, and the company has announced plans to open as many as a dozen more storefronts in the city,” he wrote.
On Friday, a customer tweeted a picture directly to the New Yorker Magazine, showing a long line of people waiting to place their orders.
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“Happening now at a ‘creepy’ @ChickfilA location in midtown NYC. Guess everyone forgot to read that article in this week’s @NewYorker,” he quipped.
What Piepenbring appears to find the most “creepy” about Chick-fil-A is its Christian corporate environment.
He reported, “The restaurant’s corporate purpose still begins with the words ‘to glorify God,’ and that proselytism thrums below the surface of the Fulton Street restaurant (in Lower Manhattan), which has the ersatz homespun ambiance of a megachurch.”
Piepenbring contended that the company’s anti-LGBT bigotry is still present, but just more subtle now.
In July 2012, as the controversy regarding Chick-fil-A was reaching a crescendo, the companyannounced, “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender,” the statement added.
The company affirmed it would continue to operate applying “biblically-based principles” as it had since its founding, including “closing on Sundays, operating debt-free and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities.”
John Sweeney, writing for The Federalist, observed Piepenbring’s entire article appears aimed at stirring up old animosities some felt toward the company.
He explained: “Dan, like so many progressive writers before him, continues to search for controversy in Chick-fil-A’s Christian message. They are collectively becoming the boy who cried bigot.”
What do you think?