Concord City Council Set To Discuss Proposed Chick-fil-A Restaurant On Willow Pass Rd.

April 22, 2019 8:00 am · 65 comments

(by Sam Richards) – Resuming a matter that was postponed from its March 26 meeting, the Concord City Council on Tuesday is expected to again take up a request to rezone a parcel along Willow Pass Road to accommodate a Chick-fil-A restaurant with a drive-thru window.

The issue isn’t the fast-food restaurant itself, but rather the drive-thru window. The parcel in question, 1400 Willow Pass Road at the corner of Willow Pass Road and Franquette Avenue about a quarter-mile east of Interstate Highway 680, is zoned for fast-food restaurants but not for drive-thru windows. It is now where the closed Lin’s Buffet building sits.

Chick-fil-A had earlier explored building a restaurant at 1225 Willow Pass Road (now the empty former Elephant Bar restaurant) and 1353 Willow Pass Road, which now hosts the new Gen Korean BBQ House.

And while those parcels were zoned for fast-food restaurants with a drive-thru, Concord city staff said they wouldn’t have supported those locations for a drive-thru, citing concerns about effects on traffic, circulation and economic development in this district with several high-rise office buildings.

The city has similar concerns with the Lin’s Buffet site, which currently is zoned for fast-food restaurants, but not with drive-thru windows.

This discussion is planned as a study session. The Concord City Council meeting begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the City Hall council chamber, 1950 Parkside Drive.

Bob Foo April 22, 2019 at 8:05 AM

The biggest problem I notice with places like Chick-fil-A and In-n-Out is that the drive through line can get so long it spills out into the street. The city should allow them to built there, provided they can set up the drive-thru in such a way that this doesn’t happen. They know it’s going to be busy, so they should prepare for it.

Sick of it April 22, 2019 at 10:24 AM

Kind of like letting Starbucks in at Treat and Clayton? After that one I do not believe they have any excuse but to approve this one. I have seen the treat and Clayton intersection a total mess as cars line up to turn into Starbucks to get into the crowded parking lot and then into the drive trough line.

Tsa April 22, 2019 at 8:09 AM

I vote to change the requirements and get this place open…

Mike April 22, 2019 at 8:15 AM

YES! Chick fil-A is simply the best chicken sandwich, have to drive out of my to Walnut Creek and wait I’m a huge line at least once a week. Worth it, but much more convenient in Concord.

Pyrrhus April 22, 2019 at 8:15 AM

Do we really need more fast food joints? I really don’t get the hype about chick-fil-a. It’s a decent chicken sandwich but it isn’t anything special. I wish we could get a good bbq place that doesn’t taste like meat cooked in a crockpot smothered in bbq sauce.

The Wizard April 22, 2019 at 8:15 AM

Build it, just want some Chicken.

Shoulda Coulda April 22, 2019 at 10:38 AM

@The Wizard

If you crave some chicken and can’t wait for
Chick-fil-A to open, Concord already has an
amazing chicken sandwich shop. Have you
been to Fresh Tray on Salvio St.? They serve
a huge freshly cooked chicken sandwich.
Be hungry when you go. One sandwich is a
very tasty meal and a half!

The Wizard April 22, 2019 at 10:57 AM

Shoulda Coulda, Thanks I’ll try out next time I’m looking for some good bird.

mike April 22, 2019 at 11:18 AM

“Concord already has an
amazing chicken sandwich shop. Have you
been to Fresh Tray on Salvio St.?”

Fresh Tray is OK, but it’s not even CLOSE to as good as ChikFilA. Fresh tray was dry, not spicy and not as crispy.

Shoulda Coulda April 22, 2019 at 7:34 PM


Sorry Mike. Fresh Tray’s sandwich is twice as
big as Chick-fil-A’s. It’s cooked while you wait so
it’s not dry and they have several different sauces
so you can spice it up all you’d like. It’s also plenty
crispy. You stick with Chick-fil-A if you like. I’m not
trying to give you the bird.

Oh, please April 23, 2019 at 8:31 PM

I had high hopes for that place, but it blows. I got the worst food poisoning from them. No wonder they changed their name so quick. Chick Fil A is awesome.

Josh April 22, 2019 at 8:45 AM

While I love the idea of another Chick-Fil-a in the area I foresee major traffic concerns with this location. The store on N. Main St in Walnut Creek is on a less busy road and has serious traffic issues entering and exiting N Main st. I wish chains like Chick-Fil-A and In and Out would revise business models away from distance from highways. They could have 3-4 stores in more rural areas and reduce the traffic and create more job opportunities. I advice the council to put some pressure to make other arrangements off major roads within a half mile of major freeway on and off ramps.

JazzMan April 22, 2019 at 10:26 AM

I read Chick-Fil-a was looking at those three locations specifically because of their proximity to freeways. That’s what they like.

Shoulda Coulda April 22, 2019 at 11:08 AM


Chick-fil-A in Walnut Creek has traffic problems
because they share a driveway with a VERY busy
24 Hour Fitness. In N Out in Pleasant Hill shares
access with an entire shopping center. At a stand
alone location like the one proposed on Willow Pass
Rd. there wouldn’t be the shared driveway traffic problem.
It would work there.

Kirkwood April 22, 2019 at 1:39 PM

At the Willow Pass location both entrance and exit has to be to Franquette Ave.

Mimi (original) April 22, 2019 at 8:50 AM

I would like to see the proposed Chick fil A restaurant located off Marsh St which runs adjacent to the north end of the Buchanan Field. Limited traffic and LOTS of warehouse, misc. building space to rezone into a Fast Food with Window option. Plus, more likely to encourage Martinez residents to drop by.

Roz April 22, 2019 at 8:52 AM

With or without the drive-thru, from what I gather, there would be many folks who would like a Chick-fil-A in the area.

Cellophane April 22, 2019 at 9:34 AM

I can’t help but wonder that if the appropriate palms have finally been crossed with the appropriate coins by now?

Dr. Jellyfinger April 22, 2019 at 9:47 AM

I think you are confusing them with the “In N Out” burger joint.

Shoulda Coulda April 22, 2019 at 11:16 AM

@Dr. Jellyfinger

I saw what you did there and I like it.
VERY clever!

Jason Wheeler April 22, 2019 at 9:36 AM

The traffic would be INSANE! Not sure if it’s a good spot for it.

Bill Bob April 22, 2019 at 9:40 AM

Seems like the drive thru issue would be helped if the drive thru line could be directed out the back, on one of those back streets with the low rise office buildings.

Winston April 22, 2019 at 9:42 AM

It will be interesting to see if the council chooses to keep the site as one of the many abandoned buildings along Willow Pass or chooses to accept a tax paying business with an EVIL drive thru. This is a test of what kind of community Concord wants to be. A city of decaying, abandoned buildings or one that lets business thrive.

Oh, please April 23, 2019 at 8:35 PM

They want a corrupt liberal ghetto.

Foonman April 22, 2019 at 9:55 AM

How about the lot next to Lowes in north Concord? Seems large enough..

mike April 22, 2019 at 11:22 AM

Who wants to build a food place a few hundred feet from the Concord Homeless Shelter? It’s already a mess over there…….

No fast food for me April 22, 2019 at 9:59 AM

Why does concord only attract fast food and all you can eat dives ? How about a real sit down restaurant where you can get a real meal ?

Kirkwood April 22, 2019 at 10:41 AM

Restaurants that serve “real meals”? How about suggesting some?

Bob Foo April 22, 2019 at 11:32 AM

The logistics of opening a casual restaurant with table service are insane. Sky-high rents combined with sky-high minimum wage lead to razor thin margins, unless you charge $20 for a burger. Nobody can make any money in a business like this.

That’s why the only restaurants that are around are either factory food, super high end, or they subsidize their food costs with bigger profits on alcohol.

Kirkwood April 22, 2019 at 9:59 AM

That building is too good to be a plastic looking fast food joint. It should house a barbecue or steak house.

Unfortunately that location can’t hold on to any business for long. The original tenant, a Tia Maria modeled the interior to resemble a large patio with a working fountain in the center and strolling musicians. Unfortunately the food left something to be desired and when El Torito opened it killed T.M.

JazzMan April 22, 2019 at 10:32 AM

Lin’s USED to be a Hungry Hunter, so I guess a steakhouse didn’t work (same w Tahoe Joe’s down the street). The lot is big enough, so if they can arrange the drive thru part away from WP, it may work.

drivesatruck April 22, 2019 at 3:17 PM

Kirkwood, it was a Hungry Hunter, Tia Maria was where The Lazy Dog is now

S April 22, 2019 at 10:33 AM

nobody else want to be there, so may as well sell chicken

NoMoreFreeRide April 22, 2019 at 10:53 AM

Must be why the lines are so long at all locations. Don’t tell me just like In n Out.

Kirkwood April 22, 2019 at 10:54 AM

Zero flavor chickens? Don’t forget all industrially raised chickens are pumped up pullets. Your only other choice is to raise your own.

DD April 22, 2019 at 11:02 AM

Bring back Tia Maria!

Joseph S Carrano April 22, 2019 at 12:08 PM

I would much rather have THE ORGANIC COUP chicken sandwich. I don’t need another $%#@%ng TOXIC FOOD OPTION. Anytime I want to eat out, I have drive to Lafayette or Pleasant Hill, because I refuse to eat food that comes from feed sprayed with GLYPHOSATE. If it is not sustainable, it is a COMPLETE WASTE OF SPACE. One sustainable fast food restaurant in Concord is not asking too much.

RDS April 23, 2019 at 7:35 AM

“I’m sorry sir, this is a Chick-fil-A.”

chuckie the troll April 23, 2019 at 8:44 AM

Those ‘sustainable’ restaurant options can’t make money in Concord or they would be here. You could invest YOUR money and help open one here if you want to take that risk. No restaurant is a ‘complete waste of space’ just because you don’t like it

Rodger April 22, 2019 at 12:14 PM

I see a road around the backside of this location on Goggle maps. That might work for the drive-thur.

John April 22, 2019 at 1:37 PM

I agree Rodger. Have the entrance off Franquette.

I’m amazed how may Concordians won’t get out of their car and go inside.

Me April 22, 2019 at 12:15 PM

They should open one by clayton road.. lots of fast food areas there already so the area is used to it

sideline April 22, 2019 at 12:21 PM

soooo, you question this location for a drive through, but had no issue putting one on corner of Treat & Clayton?
Something does not add up.
Common City of Concord, explain the difference.

Original G April 22, 2019 at 12:32 PM

South end of sun valley mall parking lot, better access to freeway on ramps and off ramps and it might help sales at the mall.

burnbabyburn April 22, 2019 at 1:36 PM

If this gets voted in, it will be because of Russian intervention.

Forsythe April 22, 2019 at 2:26 PM

Or, perhaps divine intervention?

ILuvChic-fil-a April 22, 2019 at 3:14 PM

Yes Please! I love me some Chic-fil-a!

LA April 22, 2019 at 3:51 PM

In Concord, whenever new development happens that will benefit the city – put more money in tax coffers – the city council turns around and gives the new tax dollars to the Concord Police department.
The city can approve 45 more Chick-A-Fill type of fast food outlets, but ALL the revenue will wind up in the pockets of members of the Concord POA; police officer paychecks will be enhanced, more OT will be available for the officers – needed or not – more PD management jobs will get created – needed or not (many are not needed) – and more junk-toys for the officers will be added to the PD arsenal, like a third helicopter, or more Swat military military vehicles, or more Kawasaki Motorcycles (toys for the PD officers), or more vicious police attack dogs.
The fact that Concord doesn’t have a lot of crime – our city never has – hasn’t deterred the PD from loading up on all the latest crime fighting toys, needed or not. Additionally, there is absolutely nothing – no people working at the city or on the city council – that can stop the continual raids Concord PD officials are staging on the city treasury. By “raids” I am talking about the fake OT being worked at the PD, the management jobs that have been created for PD employees (it routine now for 6 officers to show up at a simple crime scene, 4 officers, and two managers).
Pensions and wages at the PD are so high now that it basically taxes a Chick-A-Fill to pay for a single officer, so in order for our city to find any money for anything else in our city, such as a new library, a teen center, enhanced rec programs, or more income housing, we need to open up 150 Chick-A-Fills type fast food franchises.
I continue to wonder at what point in time anybody working at the city, or on the council will say, “Hey, enough is enough. The PD has plenty of money…… too much, we’ve gone hog wild with public safety spending…..

Bob Foo April 22, 2019 at 9:44 PM

It’s simple, the POA donates to the campaigns of those who will vote to keep the department budget nice and plump.

ConcordDad April 23, 2019 at 11:09 AM

Bitter much!! I’m not sure why you dislike the PD so much, ex employee or had your house raided. I think the Concord PD does a great job and crime has been bad in Concord and has the potential to get really bad. So whatever they are doing it’s working to keep crime low.

Frank April 22, 2019 at 4:23 PM

Would you guys be ok if i opened a comefy club / steak house ,where elephant bar closed .

I would bring all kinds of comedians ,from al nationalities ,serve good food ,and drinks employ alot of concod people and have a place Concord can be proud of

robert Vezina April 22, 2019 at 4:38 PM


John Boy April 22, 2019 at 5:46 PM

This location has been the grave yard for a few restaurants. If Chick Fil A wants to give it a try, I wish them luck and support them 100%.

The Wizard April 22, 2019 at 6:23 PM

I want some Bird!

Well Folks April 22, 2019 at 10:32 PM

More fast “food”. Just another sign how low Concord has gotten. Martinez-wonderful little boutique restaurants that make it a destination. Lafayette wonderful restaurants that make it a destination. Same with Walnut Creek & Benicia. But NOOO. Concord had to continue with end fast food.

Bob Foo April 23, 2019 at 3:56 AM

Have you been to the Veranda? There are several good restaurants there that aren’t “fast food”…

Well Folks April 23, 2019 at 8:30 AM

Bob Foo – the Veranda restaurants are okay but once again you are talking “chain food”. The ones in Martinez, Lafayette, WC & Benicia for the most part are not chain food
Concord has delusions of grandeur. If it wants to play the “upscale” card it needs to think and act upscale. Chick-Fil-A doesn’t fit that bill. Heck add a couple of casinos and Concord and Reno could be twins.
And if people want an AWESOME chicken sandwich drive to Stockton and hit up Manny’s California Fresh on Pacific Ave. Not that is an awesome fresh cooked (as in cooked when ordered) chicken sandwich. Nothing fast food about it

ConCordDad April 23, 2019 at 11:13 AM

I agree, It’s like Concord is in a race to become Reno or Stockton. Veranda was a really great idea and I had high hopes. Then it went away and it’s now another strip mall with nice landscaping.

Beany April 22, 2019 at 10:35 PM

As I recall, just a few steps away from the proposed location is an office where an armed deputy stands ready to use his handcuffs on the criminally crazy folks who congregate there. And yeppers, the County runs it.

Look it up on Google Maps!


chuckie the troll April 22, 2019 at 10:35 PM

Our city council has proven to be intolerant, ignorant and incompetent. Let Chick-fil-a and In-n-Out open up in our city ad find out what people think. Stop trying to tell US what we are supposed to think!

ConcordDad April 23, 2019 at 11:15 AM

Move to Stockton and see how that plan worked. I want to have a clean and safe city to live in.

Itme April 23, 2019 at 7:51 AM

Ha! That’s also one of the CPD’s favorite places for one of their DUI checkpoints. As you travel towards downtown, Willow Pass curves to the right making it hard to see the checkpoint from a block away, they tuck the checkpoint right under the freeway. The proposed Chic-fil-A is right at the start of the “cone zone”.

Original G April 23, 2019 at 12:09 PM

Made it a point to drive past proposed location and is my opinion that plot of land is way too small for a Chick-fil-A restaurant.

S April 23, 2019 at 12:43 PM

Free Parking Every “Sunday”!

Heather April 24, 2019 at 3:40 PM

I work right next to this location, and traffic in this area is already bad from about 4 to 6pm, which is also when I expect people would be eating here most frequently. There are several dead-ends streets and one-way roads looping around the backs of the high rise buildings, so there’s really only one way in and out of this building, Willow Pass, which gets backed up easily from people leaving work. Please don’t do this.

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