Methuen Chick-fil-A Plans Thursday Opening, Free Year of Food for 100 Fans

The Merrimack Valley’s very first Chick-fil-A restaurant, under the leadership of Grant Stoffel, opens this week at 73 Pleasant Valley St. (Courtesy photographs)

Merrimack Valley foodies, here’s news to cluck about: The area’s first Chick-fil-A fast food location officially opens for business on Thursday—with owner Grant Stoffel giving away a year of free meals to 100 lucky fans.

Located near Target on Pleasant Valley Street—a stone’s throw from The LOOP shopping complex—the 5,000 square-foot free-standing restaurant features seating for 116 and a two-lane drive thru, Stoffel tells WHAV.

Grant Stoffel

With the company since 2005, Beverly’s Stoffel comes to Methuen after seven years as head of the Northshore Mall location in Peabody. The business owner—who became one of the company’s youngest-ever franchisees at 23—tells WHAV he’s most excited to offer Merrimack Valley locals healthy, fresh food and a new standard of service—with a smile.

“It’s actually been really fun to present this level of service to people in New England, because there aren’t that many Chick-fil-A’s around and people aren’t used to getting that level of service from a quick-service restaurant,” he tells WHAV. “It’s really fun to see people’s faces when we walk up to their tables and offer to refresh their beverage. Sometimes people think it’s a joke, but it’s fun for our team members to be able to do that.”

Hiring a team of 100 from a pool of 600 applicants, the entrepreneur is already embedding himself in the local community. A charter member of Methuen Kiwanis, Stoffel has also joined the Greater Haverhill and Merrimack Valley Chambers of Commerce.

As part of the grand opening events this week, the Methuen Chick-fil-A hosts a winter wear drive to donate hats and gloves to area neighbors in need. A book drive and springtime bike helmet and car seat safety clinic are also in the works, Stoffel said.

For a chance to win free food for a year, fans must register in the restaurant parking lot at 73 Pleasant Valley St., starting at 6 a.m. on Wednesday. A campout party featuring a disc jockey, giveaways and other fun fills the time until the doors officially open with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday.