Popeyes-loving New Orleans is getting 3 new Chick-fil-As — but do they even want them?

Alyssa Newcomb
·4 min read

Fried chicken is serious business in New Orleans.

The city where the Popeyes chain was born in 1972 has no shortage of great places to dine on crunchy, flavorful fried chicken, but when some residents found out this week that Chick-fil-A was moving in, they weren't cluckin' having it.

"Something to smile about," New Orleans council member Kristin Palmer tweeted. "The City’s first stand-alone @Chik_Fil_A is coming to #algiers in 2022."

The popular chicken chain, which has also been embroiled in controversy for funding anti-LGBTQ organizations over the years, has stayed off Popeyes' home turf — until now.'

Palmer confirmed that the New Orleans City Council approved a "conditional use permit" to construct the city's first Chick-fil-A in the Algiers Plaza Shopping Center located a few miles away from downtown New Orleans. Two additional locations in the city, one drive-thru and one for pedestrians, are also being planned in the city, according to NOLA.com.

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For a city that loves fried chicken, many people wondered why Chick-fil-A is even bothering to try and do business in a city where people are loyal to the competitors.

"Why in Sam Hell would I go to "Chick-Fil-A" if I want chicken in New Orleans? That's a solid NO for me," one person wrote.

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"Who cares? We have so much better fried chicken everywhere in this city," said another resident.

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One New Orleanian suggested Chick-Fil-A could help solve some parking problems.

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While the food was criticized, some people also said they take issue with Chick-fil-A's record of supporting anti-LGBTQ causes.

"Why tf would anyone in Orleans parish eat these puny dry sandwiches with all the amazing options we’ve got?" one person wrote. "Also they are still homophobic af byeee."

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"Why is the City giving permits to nasty homophobes to build restaurants in New Orleans? Chick-Fil-A's homophobia is not news. This is a slap in the face to all LGBT residents of this city," one person wrote to Palmer. "Shame on you."

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"The city that has amazing fried chicken will now get the chance to eat garbage made by homophobes..." another person added.

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A Chick-fil-A spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TODAY Food about the social media backlash the company is receiving from some New Orleans residents.

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The fast food chain has also sparked controversy in other areas. Chick-fil-A announced last September that it would no longer pursue opening a location in the San Antonio airport after city council banned the restaurant chain for its "legacy of anti-LGBT behavior."

The company also announced in November 2019 that it would take a different approach to its charitable giving the following year and would focus on education, homelessness and hunger. Chick-fil-A has been under fire for donating to groups that hold anti-LGBTQ views and for remarks opposing same-sex marriage that now CEO Dan Cathy made in 2012.

While some New Orleans aren't pleased with Chick-fil-A's plans, many tweets noted how popular the chain is and how other locations always seem to be busy.

"Funny all the people bashing Chick-fil-a and saying they'll never eat it," one New Orleans resident wrote. "Guess what, they're doing just fine without you."