Chick-fil-A opens in Alabaster

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Ten-year-old Mason Dale was not old enough to qualify for a year’s worth of free meals from Chick-fil-A; but that didn’t stop him from camping out at the new Alabaster restaurant.

He joined his mom, Tanna Dale, who was one of the first 100 customers of the new restaurant on Thursday morning.

Mason, a Webelo Cub Scout, was huddled near an outside heater on Wednesday afternoon. He and his mom were camping out to be among the first 100 customers on Thursday morning when the Chick-fil-A officially opened.

Mason said instead of the free meals, he was working to earn his Cub Scout camping badge.

The long-awaited opening of Alabaster’s Chick-fil-A went off without a hitch on Thursday, according to restaurant officials. The first 100 customers in line at 6 a.m. received a year’s worth of free Chick-fil-A coupons. Some $26,000 was given away during the first 15 minutes.

Restaurant operator Constantine Zouboukos expressed his excitement about the opening. Zouboukos also operates the free-standing Chick-fil-A on Highway 119 in Pelham.

&8220;The first day I opened there, I went into the dining room to meet the first customers. The first one I asked said &8216;You need to put one in Alabaster,’&8221; Zouboukos said.

&8220;It took eight years to get here; but I’m glad we’re here.

Zouboukos is one of only a few operators in the chain who have been given the opportunity to run more than one free-standing location. He will be celebrating 27 years as a Chick-fil-A operator on Nov. 5.

&8220;With 27 years tenure and the performance of the Oak Mountain store, we now have this (Alabaster Chick-fil-A) opportunity,&8221; he said.

Zouboukos was joined by family, friends, Chick-fil-A and city officials last Wednesday for the ceremonial first bite and ribbon cutting at the Alabaster location.

The new restaurant is part of Alabaster’s Colonial Promenade at Highway 31 and Interstate 65.

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A is the nation’s second largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain with more than 1,220 restaurants in 38 states and Washington D.C.