After three years serving up chicken sandwiches and milkshakes to students and staff, the Chick-fil-A on campus will be closing its doors for good. The store recently began reducing its hours and April 26 will be the last day for business.
About four years ago, Chick-fil-A franchise owner David Neely signed a three-year lease with USFSP for the spot in Coquina Hall. Now that the lease is up, it was decided that the restaurant would no longer occupy that space. Neely said the move is not about potential business competition with the new student center, set to open in fall 2012, with dining services. Some students, like freshmen living on campus, will be required to purchase a meal plan.
Neely, who also owns a Chick-fil-A location on Fourth Street, knew when he signed the lease that the school would be growing fast, as would its needs.
All employees of the campus Chick-fil-A, including student employees, will continue to work at the restaurant on Fourth Street. Neely said he hopes to remain friends with the students and staff of USFSP.
“It is sad to see it come to an end,” he said. “But it has been a pleasure serving everyone.”
After the restaurant has closed, the space remaining will continue to serve as a student lounge and study space.
Photo by Daniel Mutter