Brace yourselves, Miami denizens: Chick-fil-A is coming to downtown Miami.
The College Park, Georgia-based chain is set to open on the first floor of Virgin MiamiCentral, the Brightline's Miami station. The 3,000-square-foot restaurant will be located on the first-floor retail promenade, on Fifth Street and First Avenue, and is expected to open this spring. The promenade will offer more than 100,000 square feet of retail space, spanning three city blocks.
There are about 20 Chick-fil-A locations in South Florida, including five in Miami-Dade, in Dadeland Mall, Florida International University, Doral, Miami Lakes, and Flagler Park.
Details about the opening date haven't been shared, although the company tends to make a big deal about new stores. When the Chick-fil-A debuted in Flagler Park five years ago, for example, people drove hundreds of miles for the opening celebrations, which generally include giveaways and entertainment.
Aside from its addictive chicken sandwiches, the fast-food chain has made news in recent years for its politics.
Chick-fil-A, which is closed every Sunday, has in the past funded through its foundation Christian groups opposed to gay marriage. In November 2019, the company dropped funding for the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes — two organizations that have, in the past, opposed gay marriage. The Chick-fil-A Foundation now supports Junior Achievement and Covenant House International and has pledged to donate $25,000 to a local food bank in every community in which the chain's restaurants are located. Despite the controversy, the company's chicken sandwiches prove more powerful than social issues to many customers. In a CNN interview this past March, presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg said of Chick-fil-A: "I do not approve of their politics, but I kind of approve of their chicken."
A 24-hour Starbucks is also moving into the retail promenade, practically next door. Because the Virgin MiamiCentral station is only a short walk from Miami clubs Space and E11even, the coffee shop should prove extremely popular.
When they open, Chick-fil-A and Starbucks will join the food hall Central Fare, Joe & the Juice, Einstein Bros., and other eateries. Virgin MiamiCentral is also home to Park-Line Miami apartments.
Chick-fil-A at Virgin MiamiCentral. 550 NE First Ave., Suite 100, Miami; chickfila.com. Opening spring 2020.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.