The Pueblo West View

Pueblo finally lands Chick-fil-A

Pueblo’s hunger pangs for Chick-fil-A soon will end.

The chicken sandwich chain — high on local diners’ wish list for years — confirmed Friday it is building its first Pueblo location at the North Side Albertsons shopping center.

Construction is expected to start by mid-April and finish by late summer, said Jerry Johnston, an Atlanta-based spokesman for Chick-fil-A. A grand opening is tentatively planned for late August, he said.

This week, crews freed up additional space for the restaurant by razing the former Blockbuster store at the shopping center. Chick-fil-A bought the former Blockbuster building this winter, according to records filed with the Pueblo County Assessor’s Office.

A land-use plan — first filed with the city in late 2012 — shows Chic-fil-A will build a 4,686-square-foot restaurant with a drive-through lane.

“It’s been in the works for a couple of years now and we’re excited to see it,” said Jerry Pacheco, a planner with the city.

The restaurant will go between the shopping center’s Fazoli’s restaurant and a Valero Corner Store convenience store.

The land-use plan also reflects Chick-fil-A’s extensive design work to handle motor vehicle traffic in the shopping center, Pacheco said.

Chick-fil-A routinely ranks high on informal surveys of Puebloans about the restaurants they most would like to see come to the city. Others include Panera Bread, Red Robin and Outback Steakhouse. Currently, the nearest Chick-fil-A restaurants are in Colorado Springs.

Records on file with the county assessor’s office show Chick-fil-A purchased the former Blockbuster site in late November for $975,000 from previous owner S.A. Lake Family LLC.

The video rental store shuttered last fall as part of the bankrupt chain’s closure of its nationwide brick-and-mortar store under new owner Dish Network. A Blockbuster on the South Side also closed last year.

ddarrow@chieftain.com

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