Biz Beat

Yes, Chick-fil-A is still coming to Manteca; work could begin this summer

A Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant in Atlanta, where the company has its headquarters.
A Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant in Atlanta, where the company has its headquarters. AP

Manteca will soon be eating “mor chikin” as plans for the city’s first Chick-fil-A are finally moving forward.

More than a year and a half after it was first announced, the Atlanta-based fast-food chicken chain is poised to begin work on its new restaurant at the intersection of East Yosemite and Northwoods avenues. It will be the second Chick-fil-A in San Joaquin County; the current closest site is on March Lane in north Stockton.

Last fall, the company filed plans with the city to tear down the building on the lot — the existing Super Buffet Sushi & Grill Chinese food restaurant — and begin building its new restaurant. Both the demolition and construction plans have since been approved, and city officials are waiting for the fees to be paid and permits to be pulled, said Toben Barnum, a development services technician for the City of Manteca.

Barnum said demolition work could begin as soon as July 1 and is expected to take around a month. After that, the construction phase could begin and should take four to six months to complete.

The new 4,153-square-foot structure will be built on the north end of the property, with its main entrance off Northwoods Avenue to avoid congestion on the already busy East Yosemite Avenue. Once finished, the new Chick-fil-A will have a drive-thru window and inside seating capacity of 84, with 34 parking spaces outside.

The new location, just off Highway 99 next to the Best Western hotel, is expected to be a big draw regionally. While the company has more than 100 restaurants in California, there are none in Stanislaus or Merced counties.

“We’re looking at potentially a Christmas-time opening, which would be nice,” Barnum said. “We’re all quite excited about (this project). We have people ask us all the time about the Chick-fil-A. We have a gentleman who has been coming in every few weeks to ask, ‘Where are the plans?’ So there’s a lot of excitement all around.”

Chick-fil-A is a privately held company that has amassed a loyal, almost cult-like following for its fried chicken sandwiches and cross-cut waffle fries. The brand is known for its advertising campaigns featuring cows holding misspelled signs reading, “Eat Mor Chikin.”

But the fast-food chain has also courted national controversy and become a flashpoint for political division. Company CEO Dan Cathy has spoken out publicly against same-sex marriage over the years, and the corporation has donated millions to anti-LGBTQ groups.

The planned site will put the Chick-fil-A in a crowded fast-food intersection, surrounded on alternate corners by an In-N-Out and McDonald’s.

Elsewhere around the Business Beat:

Look, no one wants to talk about it, let alone deal with it. But lice, it happens.

And now the new Lice Centers of America has opened in Modesto to help families deal with the itchy invaders. Husband-and-wife owners David and Amira Purto opened the business, part of a national franchise that specializes in eradicating head louse infections, last month on Coffee Road across from Downey High School.

The center offers a guaranteed one-hour treatment ($175) and also sells take-home kits ($40). Amira Purto spent 20 years in the dental field previously and became interested in the business after her own children contracted lice from school and camp. She said the center makes dealing with the problem a no-mess, one-stop shop.

The Lice Centers of America is at 937 Coffee Road, Suite 800. For more information, call 209-248-6358 or visit

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Marijke Rowland writes about new business, restaurant and retail developments. She has been with The Modesto Bee since 1997 covering a variety of topics including arts and entertainment. Her Business Beat column runs midweek and Sundays. And it’s pronounced Mar-eye-ke.
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