By Jonathan Hardison
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A dispute in Birmingham is over and a new Chick-Fil-A restaurant will open into Birmingham's 5 Points South. The city's design review committee approved the deal after Chick-Fil-A owners agreed to build a restaurant without a drive thru.
So will this help 5 Points grow, or clog it with traffic? Drive-thru or no drive-thru, no one doubts the popular chain will draw in more traffic. The question now is whether it will be a positive move for Chik-Fil-A and the community.
"I think it'll make traffic a problem," said a 5 Points customer who declined to provide her name. "There's already a lack of parking spaces on the Southside. Unless you work or live in close proximity to Chick-Fil-A, it's not going to be great for anybody like me. There's no parking here and it's already horrible, so I do feel like it's going to be a big mistake."
"We like it because it's going to put more people in the area and stuff like that," said Randy Bailey, who owns a nearby tattoo shop called Wicked Ways. "I know lot of businesses here are basically food businesses so they might not want the competition, but I think it's good because it's going to give people a place for a quick lunch that's not going to be as expensive as going in and sitting down."
Bailey can look up a block from his shop and see the new site. He also sees a future with more foot traffic passing by and he's hoping some customers decide to add some ink to their combo meal. But will the new customers deter those the business have accommodated for so long?