BANGOR, Maine — Chick-fil-A, the country’s top-selling chicken fast-food chain, plans to open its first restaurant in Maine by the end of next year.
A spokeswoman for the Georgia-based company confirmed this week that the chain with more than 1,850 restaurants — mostly located in the Southeast — is planning to open a restaurant on Bangor Mall property located at 663 Stillwater Ave.
“Bangor, Maine, is a great community that we are excited to become a member of,” Brenda Morrow, Northeast regional manager for Chick-fil-A, said. “We very much look forward to serving the communities in Bangor, with an active commitment to supporting local schools and charities.”
News of the new restaurant emerged over the weekend, when Chick-fil-A placed a mandatory advertisement stating it had applied for a Maine Department of Transportation movement permit for a free-standing restaurant on 1.828 acres at the Bangor Mall.
Morrow said they hope to open the restaurant by the end of 2016. According to records obtained from the city, Chick-fil-A is proposing a 4,975-square-foot facility with dual drive-through window service and seating for 150 guests: 134 inside and 16 outside.
Blueprints show the restaurant located at the northeast corner Stillwater Avenue and Bangor Mall Boulevard near Chipotle Mexican Grill.
In addition to a department of transportation movement permit, the new restaurant would require site plan approval from the city’s Planning Board. Planning Officer David Gould said he was not sure when that would go before the board.
The proposed Bangor restaurant will be the first Chick-fil-A in the state of Maine. According to The Sun in Lowell, Massachusetts, the company is working on a New England expansion that would bring restaurants to Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.
According to BloombergBusiness, the company is the top-selling chicken fast-food chain in the United States, generating more than $5 billion in annual sales and recently surpassing rival KFC.
The company’s culture is influenced by the devout Christian beliefs of its deceased founder, S. Truett Cathy, and his son, Dan. T. Cathy, the company’s current chairman, CEO and president.
All Chick-fil-A restaurants are closed Sundays, costing the company and estimated $500 million per year in sales, according to Forbes.
In 2012, Dan Cathy’s public statements opposing same-sex marriage became a topic of public controversy. He later told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he regretted making the restaurant part of the marriage debate, though he had not changed his position on the issue.
A Facebook page titled “Bring Chick-fil-A to Maine” had 291 “likes” as of Tuesday afternoon.
Officials with the Bangor Mall were not immediately available for comment.
Follow Evan Belanger on Twitter at @evanbelanger.