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Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Or your chicken-selling stores.
Just weeks after D.C.’s first Chick-fil-A opened in Columbia Heights, causing a line of initial customers that stretched down 14th Street NW, some Tenleytown residents have taken to the Internet to oppose another franchise being planned for 4505 Wisconsin Ave. NW, where a Payless used to stand between a Panera Bread and a Starbucks. Their reasoning? Fast food is bad for you: Think about the kids!
“Do parents want their kids at nearby schools—Janney [Elementary], [Woodrow] Wilson [High], and [Alice] Deal [Middle]—to be eating this at such an early age?,” the petition ponders. “Chick-fil-A, a popular chain among young adults and teens will just cause students at these schools to be unhealthy. There are numerous studies stating the more fast food kids eat as children, the more likely they are to continue these unhealthy eating habits through adulthood.”
So far, the company has filed a public space application for the location with the District, but hasn’t confirmed much beyond that. A Van Ness franchise at 4422 Connecticut Ave. NW is also in the works, potentially replacing a Burger King. Last month, Washington Business Journal reported that Chick-fil-A was hoping to open “another three to five” locations in D.C. within five years.
The Change.org petition cites a November post from a Tenleytown blog that quotes neighborhood listserv comments such as “I don’t like the idea of another unhealthy and unattractive option in Tenleytown” and “It is unfortunate that such an offensive fast food restaurant has come to our neighborhood,” likely referring to Chick-fil-A’s storied stance on gay-marriage rights. The letter is addressed to Anne Wallace, secretary for ANC3E, which would have a say in what retail could go into the former Payless.
City Desk wonders: But what about the college kids? The location is right next to the Tenleytown-American University Metro station.
Image via Change.org petition