Chick-fil-A opens new Gurnee location

  • Fans of Chick-fil-A lined up more than 24 hours before Thursday's opening of the chain's new location in Gurnee.

    Fans of Chick-fil-A lined up more than 24 hours before Thursday's opening of the chain's new location in Gurnee. Courtesy of Chick-fil-A

  • Lamarr Lark, left, the owner and operator of the new Chick-fil-A in Gurnee, welcomed the restaurant's first 100 customers Thursday with gift cards preloaded with 52 chicken sandwich meals.

    Lamarr Lark, left, the owner and operator of the new Chick-fil-A in Gurnee, welcomed the restaurant's first 100 customers Thursday with gift cards preloaded with 52 chicken sandwich meals. Courtesy of Chick-fil-A

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 6/22/2017 2:25 PM

Gurnee's first Chick-fil-A restaurant opened Thursday to much fanfare, particularly for the first 100 people in line who won free meals for a year.

Leading up to the grand opening, the restaurant at 6550 Grand Ave. hosted an overnight First 100 party for the first customers in line. The event is a 13-year tradition for the chain, which has given away about $31 million to fans one free year of chicken at a time.

 

Each winner Thursday received a gift card loaded with 52 chicken sandwich meals.

The new Chick-fil-A is owned and operated by Lamarr Lark, a former Army reservist who previously was the divisional vice president for Abbott Healthcare. Lark faced stiff competition to become operator. According to the company, it receives some 24,000 applications yearly for approximately 100 franchise opportunities.

As part of the opening celebration, Lark asked the first 100 guests to bring books that the restaurant could donate, along with a free library box, to Forrestal Elementary School in North Chicago. Organizers said customers donated enough books to fill the box and then some.

Lark will be joined in business by his wife, Brenda, and their three adult children.

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