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Chick-fil-A Could Win Long-Fought Battle to Open First Restaurant in Boston Proper

Eater logo Eater 11/9/2018 Dana Hatic
a store front of a house: Chick-fil-A in Springfield, Virginia © Alex Wong/Getty Images Chick-fil-A in Springfield, Virginia

It aims to take over for a Boloco in Back Bay’s Copley Square.

Six years after an initial failed attempt, Chick-fil-A is trying again to open its first Boston proper location. The popular but controversial Southern chicken chain aims to open in Back Bay’s Copley Square, where it’s seeking approvals to take over the current Boloco space at 569 Boylston St.

In 2012, the chain was eyeing a location on Boston’s Freedom Trail, but Boston’s late mayor Thomas Menino took a hard stance against the Atlanta-based chain in the face of anti-gay comments from Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy.

“You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population,” Menino said at the time. “We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion.”

Cathy’s strong anti-LGBTQ opinions aside, the company itself has previously used its charitable arm WinShape (created by founder S. Truett Cathy in 1984) to donate millions of dollars to organizations that have firm positions against homosexuality, including the Family Research Council, the Marriage & Family Foundation, and others.

As such, the chicken chain has faced criticism from various individuals, advocacy groups, and even universities: In early 2012, NYU students created a petition to shut down Chick-fil-A operations on campus, while Boston’s Northeastern University aborted plans to secure its own Chick-fil-A. This past June, backlash surged after Twitter’s CEO posted about ordering food from the chain, prompting social outrage that he publicly supported a bastion of anti-gay sentiment during Pride Month for the LGBTQ community.

Despite Chick-fil-A’s previous failures to secure locations within Boston city limits, the chain has added 11 locations elsewhere in the state (and a 12th on the way), including ones fairly close by in Dedham and Framingham.

Chick-fil-A To Open First Boston Location At Copley Square [Bisnow]

Chick-fil-A Pursuing Approval for First Boston Location [WCVB]

Boston Mayor Bans Chick-Fil-A Over Anti-Gay Comments [E]

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