Update on Chick Fil A hoping to open in old Checkers Space in March

checkers
1401 Maryland Ave, NE

“Dear PoPville,

Great summary (courtesy of Ryan Aires) of the ANC6A EDZ Committee meeting about the upcoming Chick-Fil-A planned for the old Checkers spot at 1401 Maryland Ave, NE. He wanted to highlight was that DDOT actually requested the 14th entrance/ exit that has no residences be closed, while allowing the G street entrance/ exit to stay open. We are hoping to have another meeting with DDOT representatives to ask them about that.

chickfila

High level summary – residents are super concerned about the traffic on narrow G Street, and Chick-Fil-A seemed unaware that it would be an issue. Planned opening is March 2017.

Site Design

the existing building will remain more or less how it is now
they are going to build off the back of the building extending it ~28′ to the east
the easement on 14th Street is going to be closed to traffic
one of the designers (I didn’t catch his name) said that this was actually requested by DDOT
the expected flow of cars is:
entry from Maryland Ave or G Street
cars will order on the north east side of the building (facing Maryland Ave)
cars will drive west towards 14th Street, loop around the building and pick up their orders on the Southeast side of the building (facing G Street)
cars can then exit onto Maryland Ave or G Street
the benches will remain for eating on site because there will be a walk up window

Hours of Operation
Monday – Saturday 6am – 10/11PM

Construction
Monday – Friday 8-5pm with the potential for weekend work depending on how the weather affects the construction timeline. Typically construction work is permitted between 7am and 7pm Monday – Saturday, so I would take that as the expectation.

Garbage
Garbage is going to be collected 6 days a week probably around 6am. They said that they’ll be contracting with Waste Management. The garbage is going to be stored in the same location as the Checkers trash, but they’re building a new trash area for it with brick walls on 3 sides and composite doors on the front.

Community Feedback
Everybody seems to be on the same page that the G Street entrance and exit is extremely problematic given the expected popularity of the restaurant. I don’t think any of the representatives appreciate how narrow G Street is and there was a lot of feedback letting them know. They talked about potentially paying for an in-uniform officer to control traffic, but that isn’t actually in place and their sentiment seemed to be along the lines of “if there’s a traffic problem”. They kept stressing the fact that their new design can hold up to 15 cars before it would overflow onto the street, but I still think there will be back-ups that spill into Maryland Ave and G Street. That also does address the fact that there will be an increase in traffic volume compared to Checkers.”

23 Comment

  • This thing is going to be a complete mess. Every corner of this intersection should be residential and we end up with a gas station and a fast food joint.

  • G Street Resident here. Unfortunately we won’t be able to stop the drive through like the people of Van Ness were: http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/30663/chick-fil-as-proposed-van-ness-drive-thru-is-denied/#comments

    Next best option is probably to have G Street residents become frequent dialers of 9-1-1 anytime cars are impeding the flow of traffic.

  • Local residents tell me that they have requested a traffic study on G St NE from DDOT multiple times only to be rebuffed each time. DDOT has said no to additional speed humps or mechanisms that slow drivers down. Now this. They ask to close an existing easement onto a one-way street only to push cars onto a much narrower, two way residential street. How much sense does that make? Has DDOT even considered the potential impact the Maryland Ave NE Road Diet is going to have on this intersection/project? Rhetorical question: the answer is definitely no considering they did ZERO traffic studies for the Road Diet on the side streets that intersect Maryland Ave NE. What an embarrassment. The streetcar has been built and is running. Maybe now DDOT can refocus on important issues that residents actually care about.

    • The Maryland Ave road diet may doesn’t change much at this intersection. The 1300 block of G Street in from of Piece shool may be made one way. The no entrance/exit on 14th makes sense to prevent the interruption of traffic flow on 14th Street. I saw several near misses when people pulled out of the Checkers onto 14th in front of cars turning left from Maryland Av. NE.
      By the way, there were traffic studies done on this intersection, I saw the traffic counters at gas station on the corner of 14th & Maryland.

  • What about the Chick-fil-a in Connecticut Avenue? Burger King is still very much in operation there. Really though, I hope it never happens. Chick-fil-a is the Donald Trump of fast food.

  • Ugh, this sucks. Densely populated residential neighborhoods should not have drive-thrus. Definite missed opportunity to improve that corner.

  • These chicken filet guys have no idea what they are doing. This is a disaster and they brought along an operator who has a store in the middle of a large commercial district to reassure us that it will be ok. Yolo not happy.

  • Do we really need more Hate Chicken in the district?

  • While I don’t agree with some of chains executive’s stances on particular issues, I am pretty excited to have it come into the neighborhood. I had multiple good friends work for the chain in the small town I grew up in, and they even provided my old college roommate, who started as a cashier, an opportunity to work at the corporate office in ATL and pay for the remainder of his college tuition. Also, Chick Fila hands down gives back more to the community it resides in than any other fast food restaurant in the industry. Example, their Daddy Daughter date night, local school fundraisers, and shared table program. While I understand the resentment, just remember that the owners of the store and the employees within it usually do not share the same hate sentiment that the CEO might, and instead they are using the job as an opportunity to improve their lives.

  • While I don’t agree with some of chains executive’s stances on particular issues, I am pretty excited to have it come into the neighborhood. I had multiple good friends work for the chain in the small town I grew up in, and they even provided my old college roommate, who started as a cashier, an opportunity to work at the corporate office in ATL and pay for the remainder of his college tuition. Also, Chick Fila hands down gives back more to the community it resides in than any other fast food restaurant in the industry. Example, their Daddy Daughter date night, local school fundraisers, and shared table program. While I understand the resentment, just remember that the owners of the store and the employees within it usually do not share the same hate sentiment that the CEO might, and instead they are using the job as an opportunity to improve their lives.

  • I am literally so excited for chic-fil-a to come to H street! me and my GF will be eating there 3x a week. March can’t come soon enough!

  • Chick-fil-a: the number 1 chicken choice of Trump voters. (they donated a ton to his campaign)

  • Without the driveway, wouldn’t that encourage illegal and double parking in the neighborhood?

  • There did seem to be a consideration for making G St entrance only, directing all traffic to exit onto Maryland Ave. Seemed like a realistic compromise vs closing the G St entrance and presumably forfeiting millions in revenue as a result. Worth fighting for this. As I recall it may require a revision to ordering vs pick up areas to avoid blocking what would be the only exit if there is queuing onto G st.

    I also hope they consider removing the giant 30 ft sign that “cheapens the neighborhood” as one resident put it. It’s just not a good look for a residential neighborhood and if they want to be good neighbors they should remove the eyesore. No one is going to have trouble finding the chick fil a.

    There was talk about more green space being added. Adding trees and well maintained landscaping would go a long way to remove the cheap and dirty Checkers aura. As an example of what not to do regarding landscaping I’m disappointed with the new The Maryland condo building essentially giving up on their roadside landscaping already. I understand that foot traffic across the beds is a challenge, but I believe there are ways to discourage or counteract this at relatively minimal expense.

    • I don’t think closing the G Street easement would cost them millions. The primary use case for Checker’s is the dinner rush as commuters leave the district via Maryland Ave and H Street heading East. Closing the G Street entrance wouldn’t affect any of that traffic. It would force someone coming West on Maryland Ave to pull a U-turn on Maryland to enter the drive-through, but I’d much rather have cars using one of the many curb breaks and intersections along Maryland Avenue then driving on a local, residential road. Is that an inconvenience for drivers? I couldn’t care less. It’s pretty easy to press the gas and brakes with your feet last I checked.