Our story on the front page of the May 11 edition announcing that Lancaster is closer to getting a Chick-fil-A, generated some comments on our Facebook page and seemed to be the popular story on our website that day.
After much speculation about what would occupy the vacant lot that once housed Toys “R” Us, the rumors can finally be put to rest. Some folks talked about a Sprouts occupying that area — obviously that was wishful thinking.
Palmdale is set to get a Sprouts, if they can ever get through the red tape and get the project off the ground. It would be nice for Lancaster to have one, too. Not everyone shops at the Whole Wheatery, though that’s about the only health food grocery option in Lancaster at this point. Some folks prefer to travel to Santa Clarita, so they can shop at Sprouts, but that’s not an easy task, since it’s time-consuming.
The lot where Chick-fil-A is being planned hasn’t seen any activity since Toys “R” Us closed in 2018. This business could breathe some life back into that piece of land. The proposal is for a restaurant that has a drive-thru and walk-up ordering. There will be no inside dining, but they will offer outdoor dining. The fact that there won’t be an indoor dining room isn’t so appealing to some.
The other concern is the traffic pattern tied to that business. The Chick-fil-A in Palmdale, during its peak times, has a line from the pick-up window, through the parking lot, past Dunn-Edwards Paints and down to the Rancho Vista Boulevard intersection. Vehicles often come nose-to-nose in that parking lot, as some try to maneuver around the ones waiting in line for Chick-fil-A. It’s dangerous.
We’re hoping serious consideration will be given to the traffic pattern when the Lancaster Chick-fil-A is constructed because it’s bound to bring more traffic to an already-crowded area. Carl’s Jr. and Burger King are across the street, not to mention the strip mall and other businesses.
It seems that most cities and towns that have a Chick-fil-A experience issues with traffic. The lines get so long, that they snake through parking lots and interfere with the traffic flow from other nearby businesses. Popeye’s is the same way. Try to get into the drive-thru during peak hours and you might be there a while. Plus, drivers don’t use one entrance to get to the drive-thru. They always seem to be coming from a couple of different directions, which further blocks the flow of traffic in the parking lot and causes delays, as drivers try to figure out who’s next in line.
We look forward to hearing what else will occupy the former Toys “R” Us space. A Chick-fil-A will be nice, but hopefully the next business won’t be another fast-food restaurant.