San Diego

Chick-fil-A to Open Restaurant in La Mesa

Patrons can find the new location at 8200 Parkway Drive, opening its doors on June 22 – and camp out the night before for a chance to win free food while helping the hungry

A new Chick-fil-A restaurant is opening next week in La Mesa – and 100 fans will have a chance to win a year’s worth of free food during the overnight grand opening celebration.

The eatery – located at 8200 Parkway Drive, in the Grossmont area – officially opens on June 22. However, fans are invited to line up in the parking lot the day before – as early as 6 a.m. on June 21 – for the chain’s “First 100” pop-up party.

From that crop of patrons, the first 100 eligible adults will win free Chick-fil-A meals for a year – which includes a chicken sandwich, medium waffle fries, and a drink). If there are more than 100 people at the party, a drawing will be held to randomly select the lucky 100.


Those who make the “First 100” cut will be asked to camp out in the parking lot overnight to secure their spot in line when the restaurant actually opens the following morning. The campout event is open to those living in specific zip codes around the restaurant. Those eligible zip codes can be found here.

But it’s not all about freebies at the campout. Patrons will be put to work, too, piecing together 10,000 meals to donate to hungry locals in need via the organization, Feeding Children Everywhere.

The chain’s “First 100” campouts have been a tradition nationwide for the past 13 years meant to celebrate a restaurant’s grand opening while also giving back to the community. In other parts of the U.S., devoted Chick-fil-A fans have camped out in snow and below-zero temperatures or in extreme heat with tents, chairs, TVs and other overnight gear just for a chance to be in the “First 100” group.

Chick-fil-A's "First 100" parties have led fans to camp out in the parking lots of new locations across the country, including in heavy snow like this campout in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The La Mesa Chick-fil-A is the first to open in that area and the 11th location within 50 miles in San Diego. The first location in San Diego opened in 2004 at Eastlake Terraces; before La Mesa, a Chick-fil-A opened in Del Sur this past February.

The chain said this 4,500-square-foot location includes free Wi-Fi and a two-story, interactive, indoor play area for kids. The dining room seat 150 patrons; the drive-thru has two ordering lanes. The location is open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and closed on Sundays, like all Chick-fil-A restaurants.

It’s operated by franchisee Rick Preciado, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. The company said this location brings about 100 new jobs.

Preciado will also be hosting a children’s book drive at his restaurant during grand opening week. The books will be put into a wooden “Book House” that will eventually serve as a free exchange library at a local organization.

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