New Concept Chic-fil-A Opening Soon on UES

mobile pickup Chick-fil-A upper east side

The new Upper East Side Chick-fil-A is finally opening, but not in a form you’ve seen before. The company is opening its first-ever mobile pickup restaurant on Thursday, March 21 at 1532 Second Ave. between 79th and 80th streets. According to a Chick-fil-A press release, the new location will be “one of two innovative, digital-focused test concepts.” The second is an “elevated drive-thru concept” which should open later this year.


The eatery will not have any seating and will strictly fill mobile and online orders for pickup and delivery. All orders must be placed through the Chick-fil-A app or website. Then, “The restaurant will be alerted by geofencing when Guests are on their way to expedite the process and ensure each meal is timed with the Guest’s arrival.” While guests won’t be eating onsite, the company promises that their “signature hospitality will be prominent in every step of this digital-focused experience.”

Jared Caldwell, the franchisee of the Chick-fil-A on 86th and Third Avenue, will also be owner-operator of the new concept store. His current store is notably popular and busy – so much so that neighbors have complained about the crowd of delivery vehicles it attracts. Caldwell even spoke in front of Community Board 8 about the issue. When the new location was announced, residents of Continental Towers (the residential portion of the building) did express concern, which Chick-fil-A reportedly addressed.

Much like the Upper East Side’s forthcoming smaller-format Whole Foods, Chick-fil-A is piloting its new concept here in attempt to “cater to busy New Yorkers.” They are also involving the community by offering free entrees to “100 local heroes making an impact” in the neighborhood, who will be recognized at the opening. In addition, the store will be participating in the Chick-fil-A Shared Table, which donates surplus food to local organizations who feed those in need.

The location was formerly Lester’s Department Store, which closed at the end of 2022 after over 30 years of operation. The majority of that space is now Goldfish Swim School, which opened this past December.


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