Business News for Bellevue and the Eastside of Lake Washington

Chick-fil-A to Open April 9th at Former Denny’s Location on 116th in Bellevue

Chick-fil-A First 100Washington’s first stand-alone Chick-fil-A restaurant will open April 9 in Bellevue, bringing the restaurant’s signature menu of fresh, hand-crafted food and award-winning customer service to the Puget Sound with the first of three locations opening this spring.

The new restaurant, formally named Chick-fil-A at Northeast 8th Street and located at 785 116th Avenue NE (formerly the long time location of Denny’s), will be locally owned and operated by Bellevue entrepreneur Valerie Artis. She will oversee day-to-day activities of the restaurant and will be responsible for serving local guests and visitors, as well as making all employment and community involvement decisions for the restaurant.

The grand opening celebration includes the chance for 100 adults to win free Chick-fil-A meals for a year. Community members will also have the opportunity to donate books that will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Bellevue. After 11 years and nearly $24 million in free food given away, Chick-fil-A’s “First 100” celebration continues to be the restaurant company’s signature grand opening event, which transforms the restaurant parking lot into a 24-hour community friendly party as the crowd awaits the opening.

The new Bellevue restaurant will host the next First 100 event that will award more than $32,000 in free food. A digital offer card loaded with a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A Meals will be given to each of the first 100 eligible adults, ages 18 and older with identification, in line when the doors open about 6 a.m. on Thursday, April 9. If more than 100 people are onsite when the line officially forms at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, April 8, then all 100 spots will be determined by a drawing held that morning with those selected needing to camp out for 24 hours to secure their spot. This community event is only open to guests residing in specific zip codes within a 60-mile radius surrounding the restaurant. A complete listing of eligible zip codes and rules can be found at Chick-fil-A First 100 Promotion.

To celebrate the new Chick-fil-A restaurant and the Bellevue community, local owner Valerie Artis is collecting new children’s books to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Bellevue. The entire community is invited to bring children’s books to the restaurant from Tuesday, April 7, through Saturday, April 11, to be placed in a Book House, donated by the Chick-fil-A Foundation. The nearly three-foot Book House, created entirely from reclaimed wood, will then be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Bellevue.

Creating 80 new jobs, Chick-fil-A at Northeast 8th Street is the first of three stand-alone Puget Sound Chick-fil-A restaurants opening this spring. The second, at 3902 S. Steele St. in Tacoma, will open a week later on April 16 and the third, located at 3026 196th St. SW in Lynnwood, will follow in early May.

Reflecting the chain’s mission to serve freshly prepared food in greener buildings, Bellevue’s new Chick-fil-A is built to LEED specifications with water and energy efficiency features, air quality control and waste diversion efforts, among other initiatives.

With dining room seating for 48 and outdoor patio seating for 46 guests, the new restaurant also includes drive-thru service for customers on the go. The interior features the chain’s latest design which incorporates subway tile and metals in a variety of finishes and patinas all complimented by an abundance of windows. The vintage-inspired interior includes other unique custom features such as light fixtures made from recycled Coca-Cola bottles and peach baskets.

The restaurant, which offers free Wi-Fi, is open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. until 10 p.m., serving a full breakfast menu until 10:30 a.m.  Like all Chick-fil-A restaurants, it will be closed on Sunday.

Artis is relocating with her husband and two sons from her native California where she graduated from UCLA. She decided to pursue the Chick-fil-A operator opportunity after a 17-year career in marketing, most recently in the hospitality industry where she worked in menu development and product marketing strategies. Outside of work, her passions include mentoring young people, something her new role as a Chick-fil-A owner/operator will allow her to continue as many Chick-fil-A team members are teens and young adults, learning job skills that will last a lifetime. Combining her hospitality experience with her enthusiasm for serving others, Artis is thrilled to be opening Bellevue’s first Chick-fil-A restaurant.

“Personalized customer service and freshly prepared food have been the hallmarks of Chick-fil-A since the day founder Truett Cathy opened his first restaurant,” said Artis. “My team members and I are committed to those same ideals as we welcome our guests to our new Bellevue restaurant and provide them with a remarkable experience.”

Perfecting a recipe his mother used in her Atlanta boarding house, Cathy first served his boneless breast-of-chicken sandwich, pressured cooked and served on a buttered bun with two crucial pickles, at his Dwarf Grill restaurant which opened in 1946 in Hapeville, Ga. It was the signature menu item when the first Chick-fil-A restaurant opened in 1967 inside an Atlanta mall. Though joined by many other menu options over the years, the Chick-fil-A sandwich remains the centerpiece of the menu as the chain has grown to more than 1,911 restaurants in 42 states and Washington D.C.

Known for its freshly prepared food, Chick-fil-A’s menu includes a variety of options including its signature hand-breaded, boneless breast-of-chicken Chick-fil-A sandwich along with hand-chopped salads, fresh-squeezed lemonade, made-from-scratch biscuits and hand-spun milkshakes.

The new Chick-fil-A on 116th Avenue NE is one of 88 new restaurants the chain plans to open across the country in 2015, creating more than 7,400 new jobs.

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