Chick-fil-A fans have waited a long time for a restaurant of their own in the Buffalo area. They'll have to wait just a little longer.
The opening of the first Chick-fil-A in Western New York, originally slated for this fall, has been pushed back to winter, the company said. The company doesn't have a target month nailed down yet, but it said it could open at the end of this year or in early 2019.
The chicken chain declined to say why things were off to a slower start than expected, and the Town of Cheektowaga didn't know either.
"I am not quite sure what caused the delay, but our office approved the plans months ago and we are waiting on minor items to formally issue the permit," said Mark Bielefeld, the town's assistant code enforcement officer and the person managing the project for the town.
Bielefeld said the project is "very close" to getting started; he's just waiting for contractor information. Once he receives it, he will issue the permit for work to begin.
The town is still waiting for insurance, a contractor of record to be identified, a master plumber to be identified and a pre-construction meeting.
Chick-fil-A's developer has not yet requested a start date for work to begin on the site.
Cheektowaga Town Supervisor Diane Benczkowski said she had a "very optimistic discussion" with Chick-fil-A on Thursday about breaking ground, which the chain had hoped to do next week.
"They are very willing to work with the town, and I am hoping that we can get the groundbreaking done as soon as possible for them," she said.
Chick-fil-A will be built on the site of a former Famous Dave's restaurant at 1753 Walden Ave. The vacant restaurant was torn down almost immediately after Chick-fil-A confirmed in January that it would open at that location. There is no activity at the site now, just gravel where the restaurant used to be.
The land is owned by Morgan Cheektowaga LLC, a limited liability company connected to Rochester developer and landlord Robert Morgan. Two executives of Morgan's companies were indicted Tuesday on charges of wire and bank fraud involving unrelated apartment complexes.