Editor’s note: We share this in the interest of news, not an endorsement. We recognize that this is not welcome news to everyone in our community. We appreciate everyone who has weighed in on this, and the dialogue that has resulted. Perhaps moving forward, consumers will be better informed with the choices they make.
The chain that consistently ranks as the No. 1 fast-food restaurant in America is finally coming to Champaign.
Chick-fil-A is planning to open on the lot of the former Ruby Tuesday at 2301 N. Prospect Avenue.
The company filed a building permit Thursday for a one-story restaurant with a drive-thru. It is unclear when the restaurant will open or construction will begin.
Chick-fil-A is known for its signature chicken sandwiches, waffle-cut fries and salads. It also serves breakfast.
Chick-fil-A in recent years has opened restaurants in Bloomington-Normal, Springfield and Peoria. The Illini Student Union had a Chick-fil-A location (with a limited menu) until it closed a few years ago.
Chipman Design Architect will handle plans, and the building owner is identified as LG Champaign LLC, aka Leon Capital Group, which has purchased other lots and turned them into Chick-fil-A’s, including a few near Meijer stores. According to the Champaign County assessor’s website, Leon paid $1.7 million for the site.
Ruby Tuesday closed all of its Illinois locations in July 2016.
Chick-fil-A’s arrival will mean that Champaign is home to several of the nation’s top chains. Panera Bread, which has two locations in Champaign, came in second behind Chick-fil-A among fast-food chains in the American Customer Satisfaction Index survey, while Texas Roadhouse — located in west Champaign — was the fan favorite among full-service restaurants. Tied for second were Cracker Barrel and LongHorn Steakhouse, which have locations in Urbana and Champaign, respectively.