The developers first went to the Port Jefferson Station-Terryville Civic Association to inform the community of their projected plans. Director and Resturant Developer for Chick-fil-A, Scott Thigpen, told residents the plans are to build a quality establishment that will offer meals with the best chicken in town.
Thigpen said his development team, The Lauro Group and Camco Services of NY, have also set aside additional space for a second building that can be used for any sit down establishment. Thigpen did note at this time he has not gotten any offers of occupancy for the second building.
Feelings were mixed at the civic meeting due to a statement the owner of the chain made a year ago saying he would only supporting traditional marriage. Shortly after the anti-gay remarks were made, the company released a statement saying, “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."
According to Newsday, David Kilmnick, chief executive of the Long Island LGBT Services Network, said he would encourage a boycott of the restaurant if the plans end up going through.
"I think it's going to be something that many Long Islanders are going to feel shameful about having in their community," said Kilmnick. "No matter how good the chicken is, there's better chicken [at other restaurants] that embraces everybody."
Regardless of the controversy, the civic voted with the majority in favor of the development and now the town board has followed suit. Even though there has been some resistance, the restaurant does have supporters.
In an interview, the North Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce president, Jennifer Dzvonar, said she is looking forward to this development. "We welcome a new Owner Operated business into the area. The construction of the project will be utilizing local contractors, architects, etc... (which will create jobs and boost "OUR" economy in our area)." said Dzvonar.
"The buildings upon completion will enhance the area with the beautiful plantings planned and the parking being located in the rear of the establishment. The operation and the company culture of the proposed Chik-Fil-A, with a direct link to the community, will be a benefit."
As the conversation continues, do you agree or disagree with the town board's decision?