Chick-fil-A unveils NYC opening date

Design sketch for a new Chick-Fil-A in Manhattan at 37th and 6th.
Source: Chick-Fil-A

Chick-fil-A's long-awaited first freestanding location in New York City officially has an opening date.

The location at 37th Street and 6th Avenue will open Oct. 3, the chain announced Monday. It will be Chick-fil-A's largest in the U.S.

Rendering of the new location. Source: Chick-fil-A.

While the restaurant has had an outpost in New York University's food court with limited access and menu items for more than a decade, the new restaurant will be the first of two slated for the Big Apple. The chain plans to open another location near Rockefeller Center at 46th Street and 6th Avenue.

The nation's eighth biggest chain by sales, Chick-fil-A grew its sales 14.4 percent last year and its unit count 6.3 percent domestically, according to market research firm Technomic.

This makes it the largest chicken chain in the country, beating out Yum Brands' KFC unit. In private hands since its founding in the early 1960s, Chick-fil-A has expanded more quietly that publicly traded competitors like KFC or Bojangles'.

Known for its fried chicken sandwiches and waffle fries, Chick-fil-A operates the bulk of its locations in the Southeast but has accelerated expansion elsewhere in recent years.

As of Friday, it had 1,928 locations and plans to have just under 2,000 by year end. About 15 percent of its openings this year will occur in such new markets as Detroit; Portland, Oregon; and Nevada, according to the company.