Home News New Chick-fil-A proposed for Walnut Creek shopping center – The Mercury News

New Chick-fil-A proposed for Walnut Creek shopping center – The Mercury News


New Chick-fil-A proposed for Walnut Creek shopping center – The Mercury News

WALNUT CREEK — Chick-fil-A wants to open an eatery at a Walnut Creek strip mall, but the controversial fast-food restaurant’s plans have already ruffled some neighbors’ feathers.

The fast-food chicken chain filed applications in May 2023 to build a 5,363-square-foot building at the Citrus Marketplace Shopping Center near Ygnacio Valley Road, replacing the vacant bank currently located at 2290 Oak Grove Rd.

No drive-thru window is proposed for the restaurant — opting to only offer dine-in and take-out services, such as app-based food delivery services — which would be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day except Sunday.

The city’s Planning Commission on March 14 approved a conditional use permit for the infill project in a 6-1 vote, with Commissioner Melissa Ward dissenting.

Supporters of the plan included the owner of the European Delights Bakery next door, Rica Zaharia, who said she hopes the popular eatery would help attract more customers to support the businesses that are currently “dying everyday” in that plaza, which houses a daycare center, gyms, small eateries and other retailers.

But several residents of the Woodlands neighborhood pushed back on the proposal, concerned that a Chick-fil-A on that intersection could increase traffic in an already-congested corridor and attract people who loiter or commit other crimes.

Many also argued that other fried chicken establishments — including a different Chick-fil-A less than four miles away from the proposed site — already exist in the city. Others were wary that the Georgia-based chicken restaurant has become a flashpoint in recent years, driven by its leaders’ conservative Christian beliefs and history of financially supporting anti-LGBTQ groups.

“Anecdotally, no one in the Woodlands wants this here — everyone is upset about this,” said a resident named Brian Wayne, adding that a bookstore or even a slower, sit-down restaurant would be a better fit for the area. “(Chick-fil-A) doesn’t really make sense for any place other than downtown, and it’s just not in keeping with the character of Walnut Creek.”

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