Dozens Camp Out for Chick-fil-A Promotion

Bob Gutherz cuts the ribbon to. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Owner/operator Bob Gutherz cuts the ribbon to the new Brentwood Chick-fil-A on Wednesday. To his left is his wife Julie, the restaurant’s marketing director. To his right is Flint Fowler, President of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater St. Louis. Others present include members of the Brentwood Chamber of Commerce, Brentwood City Administrator Bola Akande (second from right) and Chick-fil-A’s bovine mascot. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

Restaurant opens Wednesday with fanfare

 
By Steve Bowman
Editor, The Brentwood Spirit
Email: bowmansj@sbcglobal.net

Chick-fil-A knows how to do a grand opening. The new Brentwood restaurant, on Eager Road just north of Dierberg’s, held its ribbon cutting on Wednesday morning with a marching band, a fire truck, a flag-raising, a book drive and free chicken for all. Some in the crowd of about 75 took selfies with the company’s cow mascot.

And that was the tame part.

The night before, more than 100 people camped out in the restaurant’s parking lot, in a long line of about 30 tents. Chick-fil-A had advertised that the first 100 people in line at 6 a.m. on Wednesday would receive “free Chick-fil-A for a year.” Seventy of them had been camping out since 6 a.m. Tuesday, when the restaurant first allowed the line to form. About 30 of them arrived before that, sometime in the darkness of Monday night and Tuesday morning. By 10 p.m. Tuesday all 100 places had been taken.

A line has already formed by early Tuesday morning, with a 24-hour wait ahead.
The line to get in line has already formed by early Tuesday morning, with a 24-hour wait ahead. (Photo courtesy of Chick-fil-A)

At 6 a.m. on Wednesday the first 100 were allowed to enter the restaurant and claim their prize: a gift card good for 52 free combo meals — one meal a week for a year. By the time of the ribbon cutting, three hours later, all had packed up their tents and gone home.

During the long wait, the restaurant provided several meals, restrooms, security, games and a deejay dance party. On Tuesday afternoon when a storm with lightning rolled through, the group was invited inside the restaurant to wait it out.

About 30 tents were pitched in the parking lot by Wednesday evening.
About 30 tents were pitched in the parking lot by Wednesday afternoon. (Photo courtesy of Chick-fil-A)

Woman in tent

Those waiting in line on Wednesday evening work in the restaurant's patio area. (Photo courtesy of Chick-fil-A)
Those waiting in line work in the restaurant’s patio area. (Photo courtesy of Chick-fil-A)
Chick-fil-A provided campers with Play-Doh for a contest to create menu items.
Chick-fil-A provided campers with Play-Doh for a contest to create menu items. (Photo courtesy of Chick-fil-A)
Campers gather at 6 a.m. Wednesday to enter the restaurant to claim their gift cards. (Photo courtesy of Chick-fil-A)
Campers gather at 6 a.m. Wednesday to enter the restaurant to claim their gift cards. (Photo courtesy of Chick-fil-A)

During the ribbon cutting the crowd was introduced to operator and franchised owner Bob Gutherz and his wife, marketing director Julie Gutherz. Both are St. Louis natives. He’s a graduate of SIU – Edwardsville, joined Chick-fil-A in 1993 and has been an operator for 14 years, most recently in the Chicago area.

Both Bob and Julie were relieved that the rain let up for the ribbon cutting.

“We actually prayed, and are happy that the rain stopped for [at least] 15 minutes,” he told the crowd.

Brentwood Chamber of Commerce President Gina March (left) presents a certificate to owner/operator Bob Gutherz and marketing director Julie Gutherz. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Brentwood Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Gina March (left) presents a membership certificate to owner/operator Bob Gutherz and marketing director Julie Gutherz. (Photo by Steve Bowman)

The Brentwood restaurant employs about 85 and is the company’s 1,928th location. It is located at 8590 Eager Road, where the Romano’s Macaroni Grill stood until it closed on Dec. 29. In January the Brentwood Board of Aldermen gave Chick-fil-A the green light to locate here in a 6-2 vote.

The Brentwood High School band plays for the crowd at the ribbon cutting. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
The Brentwood High School band plays for the crowd at the ribbon cutting. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
The trumpet section of the BHS band. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
The trumpet and saxophone section of the BHS band. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Brentwood firefighters raise the flag while the BHS band plays the National Anthem.
Brentwood firefighters Matt Stoverink (left), David Niemeyer and John Youngblood (upper right) raise the flag while the BHS band plays the National Anthem. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Firefighters salute the flag during the National Anthem.
Saluting the American flag during the National Anthem are firefighters (from left) Assistant Chief Terry Kurten, David Niemeyer, Larry Drexler and Robert Carver. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Scott Overcarsh (right), a senior consultant for Chick-fil-A in Atlanta, speaks to the crowd.
Scott Overcarsh (right), a senior consultant for Chick-fil-A in Atlanta, speaks to the crowd. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Flint Fowler (left), President of Boys and Girls Club of Greater St. Louis, thanks Bob and Julie Gutherz for holding a book drive to benefit the organization.
Flint Fowler (left), President of Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, thanks Bob and Julie Gutherz for holding a book drive to benefit the organization. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Posing with the Chick-fil-A mascot are Brentwood firefighters (from left) Matt Stoverink, Robert Flamion, David Niemeyer, Steve Brown, Terry Kurten, Larry Drexler, John Youngblood and Fire Chief Ted Jury. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
Posing with the Chick-fil-A mascot are Brentwood firefighters (from left) Matt Stoverink, Robert Carver, David Niemeyer, Steve Brown, Terry Kurten, Larry Drexler, John Youngblood and Fire Chief Ted Jury. (Photo by Steve Bowman)
The restaurant is located just northwest of Dierberg's in the Brentwood Pointe shopping center.
The restaurant is located just northwest of Dierberg’s in the Brentwood Pointe shopping center.

5 thoughts on “Dozens Camp Out for Chick-fil-A Promotion

  1. Audrey, Do you truly believe that the company is truly afraid of gay and lesbian relationships or are you just angry with their stand?

    Like

  2. Toni, you made an excellent statement and there is always that 10% that doesn’t believe in the Bible. Another thing, that person doesn’t have to patronize the establishment.

    Like

    1. Yes Mr.Bock, there is a percent of people who don’t believe in the Bible. But that is because they have the freedom to practice any religion or no religion at all.

      Now that we get to percentages, I’d like to add that only about 76.5% of the worlds population has faith and 22.8% is not affiliated or they’re Agnostic. Of which 70.6% are Christians or followers of the Bible. That leaves your statement of “there is always that 10% that doesn’t believe in the Bible” to be untrue because in fact 28.7% of this world follow other religions or have no religion affiliation at all. These other religions are Hinduism, Muslim, Buddhism, Judaism, Shintoism, Aboriginals, Native American practices, and more.

      I state this not to be rude, but to inform my good sir.

      This information was from the Pew Research Center, updated May,2015.
      http://www.pewforum.org/2015/05/12/americas-changing-religious-landscape/

      Like

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