Raleigh, N.C. — The world's first double-decker Chick-fil-A restaurant opens next month in Raleigh, as part of a major renovation project at the city's oldest shopping center.
The grand opening celebration at the new Cameron Village Chick-fil-A, at the corner of Cameron Street and Woodburn Road, is March 1. The restaurant will feature a second story outdoor patio with a view of the Raleigh skyline, a large atrium and a two-lane drive-thru.
The company chose the 63-year-old shopping center for this landmark two-story location because of its uniqueness.
"We've got restaurants now in 40 states across America, and I can tell you, categorically, there's only one Cameron Village. It is so special," said Chick-fil-A spokesman John Featherston.
He said it has taken several years to come up with a design that fits the missions of both the restaurant and its location.
"We tried to come up with a design that we thought would integrate what it means to be a focal point and a gathering place in this community," Featherston said.
With just one kitchen, the design had to accommodate two stories of customers, but the Georgia-based, quick-service restaurant company has a plan for that.
A Vittleveyer, a fancy version of a dumb waiter, will zip food from the first floor to upstairs customers. A tract conveyor will allow the kitchen to send bags of food along the ceiling to the drive-thru window.
It's state-of-the-art, said architect Trent Gilley, but it will blend in nicely with the feel of Cameron Village.
"It will contribute to the heritage of Cameron Village," he said. "It will become a beacon of social activity here and it will feel like it's always been here."
In addition to the Chick-fil-A, there are other big changes in store at the shopping center.
The Harris Teeter is taking over space formerly occupied by Foster's American Grille, which closed last summer. Work has begun on the six-story Gallery at Cameron Village at the corner of Oberlin Road and Clark Street. The $49-million complex will include about 280 apartments and some retail space when it opens in 2013.
Some local retailers also plan to move to the shopping center, including Chapel Hill-based Sugarland Bakery and Rangoni Firenze, a shoe store that is relocating from the Streets at Southpoint mall in Durham.