Chick-Fil-A is coming to Boston. The move comes a little more than two years after the casual dining chain made an announcement that they'd open a Back Bay location. The location will open this winter. "It's our pleasure to confirm we will be opening a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Boston at 569 Boylston St. this winter," the company confirmed in an email to Boston.com. "We look forward to joining the community and to serving all of our guests' delicious food in an environment of genuine hospitality."
Chick-Fil-A will take over a former Boloco location. The new restaurant is currently under construction and hiring new employees. There are currently 16 Chick-fil-A locations operating in the state of Massachusetts. Locations are currently in Dedham, Burlington, Woburn, and Framingham, and more.
This isn't the first time the company made plans known that they'd try and bring a location to the city. In 2012, Chick-fil-A was looking at a location on the Freedom Trail in the area. But Boston's late mayor Thomas Menino was not a fan Chick-Fil-A. Menino did not approve of Chick-Fil-A's former CEO, Dan Cathy, stance against gay marriage.
"We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit," Cathy told the Baptist Press in 2012. "We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that."
Amid the comments, Menino wrote a letter to Cathy urging him to "back out of your plans to locate in Boston." "I was angry to learn on the heels of your prejudiced statements about your search for a site to locate in Boston," Menino wrote. "There is no place for discrimination on Boston's Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it." As a result, plans to open in Boston stalled.
Since Cathy's statements, Chick-Fil-A makes it known they do not condone homophobic views. In 2019, Rodney Bullard, the executive director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation, told Business Insider that they'd make plans to donate to LGBTQ youth organizations. Cathy stepped down as CEO in September. His son, Andrew Truett Cathy, took his place.