Coming to roost

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Fans of Chick-Fil-A’s signature chicken sandwiches finally have a Lakewood location to visit to satisfy their cravings.

The city’s first Chick-Fil-A location, 14730 W. Colfax Ave., opened Thursday, June 20, to crowds of hungry customers, including people who had camped out at the restaurant over night to win free Chick-Fil-A for a year.

“This is the third opening Chick-Fil-A has had in three months, and Lakewood is one of the areas that we really saw as a growth area,” said Lydia Huerta, with CP Communications.

“We listen to what customers want, and we really wanted to give people in the area a chance to try out or restaurant.”

Ryan Smith, owner-operator of the location, has previously owned a Chick-Fil-A in Dallas, and was a manager for a store in South Carolina.

“This location is the latest and greatest of what Chick-Fil-A has to offer,” he said. “We’ve got a larger dining area, that will seat 132 people, and have the newest kitchen design to make sure the freshest food gets out to the customer.”

Smith described the new kitchen design as more streamlined and reminiscent of an assembly line, which gets orders out quickly to customers.

He said the location has brought about 70 jobs with its opening.

The special thing about a Chick-Fil-A opening is its offer to give the first 100 customers in line a year of free food.

“Its our 10th anniversary of the ‘First 100’ program, and in that time we’ve given away more than $18 million in free food,” Smith said.

“We get people who drive from all over the country to be at these openings to try to be the first group.”

Smith said people started camping out in front of the restaurant at 6 p.m. on June 19, and there were games, a DJ and a celebratory atmosphere in the parking lot as people waited for the restaurant to open at 6 a.m.

“We’re really excited about getting involved in the community, and creating that kind of passion here,” he said.

“For me the important thing is to create memorable experiences for the visitors, and we do that with our food and customer service.”

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