Why did the chicken move down the road?
For more parking and drive-thru capacity, of course.
Fast food giant Chick-fil-A is looking to replace one of its current restaurants in Columbia and is seeking a vote from Columbia’s Board of Zoning Appeals to make way for the move. According to an application filed with the zoning board, Chick-fil-A wants to replace its restaurant currently located at 229 Bush River Road. In doing so, the company would build a new restaurant about a quarter-mile away, on the vast property of the Dutch Square Center mall.
The paperwork filed with the city notes that the mall sits on a 41-acre site, and Chick-fil-A would utilize a 2.5-acre space on the southwest corner of the property to build a new full-service restaurant with indoor seating and a drive-thru.
“The proposed Chick-fil-A site is intended to replace the existing Chick-fil-A site that is located on Bush River Road,” the application says. “The new site will have much more parking and drive-thru capacity than the existing site which will address traffic concerns. The entry point for the drive-thru (at the proposed new location) is also located as far as possible from the existing mall entrance driveway connection to Bush River Road across from Colonial Life Blvd.”
The zoning board, which has to approve special exceptions for any new restaurant project that includes a drive-thru, is set to hear the matter at a meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday at Columbia City Hall.
There are more than a dozen Chick-fil-A locations in the Midlands, and this would be the latest in what have been a host of improvements, moves, remodels and other upgrades to stores in the last few years.
For example, the Chick-fil-A at 2299 Augusta Road in West Columbia reopened in May after being closed for three months for a remodeling. And the Chick-fil-A at 294 Harbison Blvd., which was torn down in 2022, was rebuilt and reopened in March.
The Chick-fil-A on Dutch Fork Road was closed earlier this year for remodeling and reopened in late June.
Also, the Chick-fil-A at 10136 Two Notch Road was demolished earlier this year, and a new version of the restaurant was built back on-site. It reopened in September.
The Chick-fil-A on Dutch Fork Road in Irmo closed earlier this year and reopened in June after being remodeled.
Most recently, the Chick-fil-A 5440 Forest Drive was torn down, with plans to build a new version of the restaurant back on the site.