Chick-fil-A flies into Arvada

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Arvadans can now “Eat mor chikin” as Chick-fil-A opens its first restaurant in the city.

Chick-fil-A, 7809 Wadsworth Blvd., opened to the public at 6 a.m. July 11.

“This is the first Chick-fil-A in Arvada, and I’m excited to be a part of it,” said Sheri O’Leary, the franchise owner and operator of the new location. “At Chick-fil-A, our customers are like our extended family. I’m meeting people out here, and it already feels like they’re an extension of our family.”

O’Leary isn’t the only one excited to see Chick-fil-A come to Arvada.

As with all Chick-fil-A grand openings, the new Arvada location hosted a “First 100” event where people lined up 24 hours before the opening in hopes of receiving free Chik-fil-A meals for a year.

More than 200 people had lined up by 6 a.m. July 10, for the event. Through a raffle system, 100 people were randomly selected to receive 52 coupons for free meals.

To get their coupons, though, they had to stay on the property until 6 a.m. Thursday morning, when the restaurant officially opened.

“I love Chik-fil-A,” said Eric Einarsen, of Littleton. “I’m here to get a free year of Chik-fil-A. I went to the grand opening in Denver West (14730 W. Colfax Ave. in Lakewood) a few weeks ago too. It’s fun and exciting to be here.”

Chik-fil-A fans came from Arvada, the metro area and even other states — including Tennessee, Nebraska, Alabama and Illinois — for the grand opening.

Some residents even made their own Chik-fil-A shirts and accessories, including a woman who used gift cards to make cow earrings and Arvada resident Jackie Kemp, who made a shirt with her friend that featured the restaurant’s logo and cow spots.

Kemp made her shirt for “Cow Appreciation Day” on July 12; on that day, customers who dress like a cow get free Chik-fil-A. She said she decided to wear it to the grand opening in Arvada.

“I love Chik-fil-A. My friend and I always go to the one in Flatiron, so we’re excited to have one here now,” Kemp said. “We went to Chik-fil-A before our homecoming senior year, and they were so nice to us and gave us free milkshakes. I came out to get free Chik-fil-A for a year, but it’s been so much fun camping out.”

When the doors to the store opened on July 11, the campers received a free T-shirt and walked into the store one by one to get their stack of coupons and shake O’Leary’s hand.

“We’re already hearing people call this location ‘My Chik-fil-A,’ and that means a lot to us,” she said.

Within 15 minutes of opening, the restaurant made its first sale as Zach Payne, of Arvada, purchased breakfast after camping out with his friends all night.

The Arvada Chik-fil-A currently has 76 employees, O’Leary said, and soon will hire four more.

O’Leary said her goal is also to be involved as possible in the community through the restaurant participating in events, and supporting local groups and organizations in various ways.