Sandwich maker Chick-fil-A is set to open Jan. 23 at the Robal Road Village shops in northeast Bend next to the Cracker Barrel Old Country store.
And if the interest is as strong as the hype, it could be a big draw for the surrounding businesses at the new shopping complex.
When Cracker Barrel opened, it was a boon for Mod Pizza, said store captain Tatum Staab.
“It will draw more people to the center,” Staab said. "We’re anticipating more people coming to the center and if they see a big line, they’ll come over to us.”
The Georgia-based chain announced that Tod Keller is the franchise owner of the Bend take-out restaurant and drive-thru. Keller will be responsible for employing about 100 full and part-time people at the restaurant, which will be open 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, according to a company statement.
On the east side of U.S. Highway 97, the restaurant has been anticipated since fall 2016, when plans for the shopping center were filed with the city of Bend. Robal Road Village shops began opening in early 2018. Cracker Barrel opened in 2019.
Keller spent five years as a franchise owner of a Chick-fil-A in Vacaville, California, before returning to Central Oregon, according to the company. According to the company’s website, Chick-fil-A operates more than 2,400 restaurants nationwide in 47 states and Washington, D.C.
Since the chain started in 1946, the company has maintained true to founder Truett Cathy’s vision of closing on Sundays.