It all began when I decided that I didn’t want to make breakfast on my birthday. I had several coupons in my purse for different restaurants and fast food places.
I guess I chose Chick-fil-a because I had been avoiding it all summer. My kids love restaurants with playgrounds, but their playground was outside and I just couldn’t justify letting Jared and Luke swelter within plastic walls and tubing on a day when the outside temperature was already over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (not to mention the extra heat building up inside the playground area). But now, we were finally dropping into the more reasonable temperature range of 80 to 90 degrees, and I thought it would be fun to eat breakfast there and use some of my neglected (but still valid) coupons.
After piling the kids in the car and getting them all excited about eating some yummy Chick-fil-a breakfast food, I got quite a shock when I came to the site of the restaurant. The entire building was gone. All that was left was a stack of debris being moved about by a demolition vehicle. As my visions of Chick-fil-a meals vanished before me, I saw a sign stating that a temporary Chick-fil-a was going to open soon in the Brazos port mall across the street.
Later on, I heard that Chick-fil-a was planning to rebuild their restaurant in the exact same spot, but would be available in the mall for the time being. As the months passed by, I could see the new building slowly being built. I took note of the fact that the new building had the playground built indoors. They were also making room for a double drive through. Finally, a float in a Christmas parade advertised the news that the new Chick-fil-a would open on December 15.
As that day approached, I decided it would be fun to take the kids there on their grand opening day. Several days before the store opened, the drive thru was opened to the public. Those first customers received a free breakfast that morning.
The night before Chick-fil-a was to open there were people camping out in tents in the new parking lot area. Why? They wanted to be among the first 100 customers to go through the front door, because they were promised to receive a special gift of “a free meal for 365 days.”
Now, we were not among the first 100 customers. But we were there early enough to receive a toy Chick-fil-a cow for all three of the kids. Jared and Luke had so much fun in the new indoor playground that was so well air conditioned that I made the boys wear their sweaters.
There were so many people working that Chick-fil-a that morning. Every few minutes, one of the employees was asking me if I was such and such a person who had ordered the tray full of fast food goodness they were carrying around. I would smile sheepishly and say, “I haven’t ordered just yet.”
After all, I had arrived at Chick-fil-a at 10:15 that morning so that the boys could enjoy a good long romp in the playground before ordering their lunch. I ended up placing my order around 11:30 to avoid the lunch crowd that would be coming through after noon. Chick-fil-a staff helped bring my order to my table and continues to come by periodically and make sure we didn’t need any refills on drinks or any other items. One lady was carrying around helium-filled balloons and promised to give Jared and Luke a balloon if they finished all their lunch.
During our time there, I got to meet the manager of the store. She told me with great pride that this was the first time any Chick-fil-a store had ever been completely demolished and rebuilt in the same location. I asked her why they had demolished the building in the first place and she said that there were so many changes that needed to be made that it merited a complete make-over.
Indeed, it is a modern building that smells of new furniture and filled with enthusiastic people ready to serve anyone who comes through the front door and those who drive around the building to be served at their windows.