Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day: Line is drawn as chicken war goes on

City Hall wants to take a bite out of Chick-fil-A's expansion plans in Boston.

The line has been drawn in the chicken war and even the taste of delicious, greasy, fried chicken is not enough to apparently sway Boston area residents.

Last month, Chick-fil-A’s president made anti-gay comments that prompted Mayor Thomas Menino to express his anger and ask the chain not to open in a private building in Boston.

The controversy quickly spread across the country and prompted people on many sides of the issue to speak out. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, in his support of the chicken chain, proclaimed Wednesday national Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.

By noon Wednesday the line at the Chick-fil-A at the Burlington Mall (the closest location to Boston) was more than 40 people long. Some were wearing shirts with “Liberty,” “U.S.A.” or “God bless America” written on them. One elderly man was handing out religious pamphlets titled “If Jesus came to your house” to those in line before mall security asked him to stop.

David Gernhard, who works near the mall, said he stops at the restaurant about once or twice a month because he likes the chicken sandwiches, but said he made it a point to eat lunch there Wednesday. He said he supports the company’s right to locate in Boston despite the opinions of its president.

“It’s a great sandwich,” said Gernhard, “and I support property rights.”

With all of the recent controversy, Metro set out to see if the taste of the raved-about chicken would change people’s minds about the company.

Metro provided samples of plain chicken sandwiches from Chick-fil-A and another competitive fast food chain to people out near Faneuil Hall and Government Center Wednesday afternoon and asked which they prefer before revealing which sandwich was which. Eight out of thirteen people preferred the Chick-fil-A sandwich in Metro’s unscientific survey.

However, some of those who preferred the taste didn’t agree with the ideals.

“I still won’t give them any money,” said Tony Gross of Somerville, who preferred the Chick-fil-A sample. “It’s a human rights issue and history will look back and see this issue as a human rights issue just like racial equality.”

A protest has been planned for Friday when same-sex couples have been asked to kiss at the restaurant locations.

A taste for Menino

Since many Boston area residents preferred Chick-fil-A’s chicken, Metro offered an extra sandwich to Mayor Thomas Menino for his take.

However, a spokesman said Menino was unavailable all day Wednesday because he was having and recuperating from an outpatient procedure on his drooping eyelids.

It was unclear if Menino has ever tried a Chick-fil-A sandwich.


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