By Denise Allabaugh, Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice
WILKES-BARRE — Husband and wife Don and Pat Sennett waited in a line that stretched to the door to get chicken sandwiches at the Chick-fil-A on Thursday at King’s on the Square.
Thursday marked the first time a Chick-fil-A location opened in Luzerne County. In addition to serving King’s College students, it also is open to the public.
Pat Sennett, 62, who lives in downtown Wilkes-Barre, said they have been to other Chick-fil-A locations and couldn’t wait for the restaurant to open on Public Square.
“We love it. It’s great,” she said. “We watched downtown transition into something great.”
Don Sennett, 65, agreed Chick-fil-A is a great addition to downtown Wilkes-Barre.
“Downtown is just awesome because we don’t have to drive anywhere. We just walk everywhere we go,” Sennett said. “This is just an additional place to come. It’s awesome.”
The restaurant in the former Ramada Hotel building was filled with King’s College students, including senior Mike Ahern, who enjoyed a spicy chicken sandwich combo. He said there is a Chick-fil-A in Mechanicsburg, his hometown, and he is glad one opened in Wilkes-Barre.
“It’s convenient and it’s also nice that a lot of locals are going to be coming here,” Ahern said. “I think what Wilkes-Barre needs is more people coming towards the center. You have the Farmers Market. That’s a huge way to draw people to the city, so having Chick-fil-A is just one more part of that.”
Andrew Crossin, a King’s junior, and Jared Melochick, a King’s sophomore, also enjoyed chicken sandwiches.
“I thought it was fantastic,” Melochick said. “This is my first time (at a Chick-fil-A) and I can say I’m very pleased with it.”
The Chick-fil-A will be open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and like other locations, it is closed on Sundays, said grand opening supervisor Brett Lewis.
The late S. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, made the decision to close on Sundays in 1946 when he opened his first restaurant in Hapeville, Georgia.
He has said that all franchised Chick-fil-A operators and employees should have an opportunity to rest, spend time with family and friends and worship if they choose to do so. Closing on Sundays has been part of their recipe for success, according to Chick-fil-A’s website.
The francishee for the Chick-fil-A is Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services, which provides food service for King’s College.
Another Chick-fil-A will open in the Banks Life Student Center at Misericordia University on Thursday, Nov. 10, said Maureen Metz of Metz Culinary Management, which provides food service for the university.
As part of the grand opening, 50 cents from the purchase of every original chicken sandwich on Nov. 10 and Nov. 11 will be donated to the Wounded Warriors Fund.