NSU is about to become home to Chick-fil-A. That is, if the students can survive the wait.
While the first half of Northwestern State Marketplace, the Campus Corner, opened its doors on Aug. 16, students craving for Chick-fil-A will have to wait a while longer as no set date to open has been announced, but is aiming to opens its doors on homecoming week.
“The students really voiced their opinion about wanting a Chick-fil-A on campus,” Student Government Association President Jacob Ellis said. “SGA brings the students’ concerns and needs to the administration, and I think the student voice got loud enough to where the administration would do something.”
The restaurant will actually be a Chick-fil-A Express, meaning it will lack a drive-thru and any specialty offers that a main Chick-fil-A franchise restaurant may have. It will, however, serve a full breakfast and lunch menu.
The project began in the 2018 fall semester as NSU President Chris Maggio responded to student demand by announcing last semester the plans to bring the bookstore and Chick-fil-A together.
“Through a unique opportunity, the NSU Foundation purchased the old campus bookstore across from Watson Library, where Café DeMon is already located,” Maggio said. “Across the street seemed the perfect fit for not only a new bookstore but a new retail food outlet as well.”
The investment was funded by the NSU Foundation, and the cost of the entire project is projected to be “a little over a million dollars,” said Drake Owens, assistant vice-president for external affairs. This includes the construction of almost 50 new parking spots around the store to accommodate the public.
“We decided if we that if offered all these services and put it in a brand new building, it would really create more of a campus feel to it than [by] just selling books,” Owens said.
While there are traffic concerns, NSU police should be on scene periodically to help direct traffic, and there have been talks of a catwalk going from Watson Library to the Northwestern State Marketplace. Owens said right now that’s it’s “just talk.”
“The first step is finishing the project,” Owens said. “Afterwards you’ll probably see one of those cables to count traffic and then we’ll have a conversation to address any traffic issues after the project is finished.”