Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, Inc., a family owned and privately held restaurant company, opened its first Tri-Valley eatery at 6 a.m. Thursday to hundreds who camped out overnight and others sitting in their cars to order from two drive-up windows.
The nationally popular restaurant is located at 5785 Johnson Drive in Pleasanton next to the I-580 and Hopyard Road intersection and with a driveway entrance across from Tommy T's.
The first 100 people in line at opening hour received free Chick-fil-A for a year, a company tradition going back 13 years. In that time, Chick-fil-A has given away nearly $27 million in free food as it continues the chain's signature grand opening event.
Company spokeswoman Adriana Desiderio said that Chick-fil-A fans began lining up 24 hours in advance of the opening hour. They were fed all day, entertained with activities and enjoyed a DJ during the late night hours.
The Pleasanton restaurant occupies a 5,300-square-foot building with a dining room that seats 116, outdoor seating for 40 and a two-story interactive indoor play area for children and free Wi-Fi. It also features dual drive-through ordering lanes and screens to enable customers to quickly pay and pick up.
Open Mondays through Saturdays from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., it offers a full-service menu, including breakfast until 10:30 a.m. Like all Chick-fil-A locations, it will be closed on Sunday.
The Pleasanton franchise is owned by Aaron Clifford, who was raised on a Northern California strawberry and raspberry farm. He remembers coming to Pleasanton often as a child. where his family would sell berries at the the Farmers Market. After receiving a degree in business management, he worked in construction before joining the Chick-fil-A organization.
The Pleasanton Chick-fil-A and its 100 employees are also inviting customers to celebrate the new location by participating in a children's book drive for a local organization.
Clifford is collecting new and gently used children's books from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. today and asks that donated books be placed in a "Book House" at the restaurant to serve as a free library exchange.
Since 2014, Chick-fil-A has collected more than 27,000 children's books which have been donated to 162 local organizations in 37 states and Washington, D.C.