Prince Frederick, MD – For those who keep track of such things, the Central Calvert County town of Prince Frederick is now home to Chick fil-A’s 2,385th location. The iconic restaurant famous for its poor-spelling cows and loved for its food and community involvement officially opened Thursday morning, Nov. 29. Chick fil-A corporate spokeswoman Karla Reinertsen introduced local franchise owner and operator Todd Smith, declaring that he “is definitely focused on giving the community the best impact.” Speaking for himself and his wife Mary and their son, Smith stated, “we are very happy to call this community home.”

Smith noted that the opening of the Prince Frederick Chick fil-A “creates 104 new jobs in Calvert County.” After a stirring ceremony—a small group of Calvert High School Naval Junior Reserved Officer Training Corps cadets adeptly hoisted an American flag that their instructor admitted was a bit larger than they had anticipated and a young lady sang the Star-Spangled Banner—brief speeches, ribbon cutting and “first bite” ceremonies, Smith and others headed into the new building. Customers had already ordered, were waiting in line and eating breakfast.

Smith told that it took him about six weeks to evaluate an estimated 800 applications before assembling his first staff. He asked every applicant why they wanted to work for Chick fil-A. “It was always about the culture and the fact that the staff is always so friendly,” Smith said. “They wanted to work in a place that was friendly.”

While some local residents have voiced concerns about the impact the new eatery could have on the already congested Route 2/4 traffic, Smith indicated that the first-day flow into the restaurant’s parking lot and drive-through window had been smooth. The restaurant also has an entrance and exit on Costley Way. According to a company press release, the restaurant’s two-lane drive-through merges into a single pickup point that can handle upwards of 200 cars an hour.

Earlier in the morning, diehard customers who had been waiting days for the distinction of winning free food for a year broke camp and the first 100 claimed their prizes. According to Chick fil-A, 100 adults who registered at 6 a.m. Thursday morning won digital offer cards with a year of free meals—52 meals with each consisting of a Chick fil-A Chicken Sandwich, medium Waffle Potato Fries and a medium beverage.

“This is the most anticipated business opening in the history of Calvert County,” declared Commissioners’ Vice President Tom Hejl, who added that commissioners and county government officials fielded a barrage of calls wanting to know when the new Chick fil-A was going to open.

“We are looking forward to many years of partnership,” said Calvert County Chamber of Commerce President Bob Carpenter, who noted Smith has already become a member of the business organization.

As part of the restaurant’s opening day festivities, a children’s book drive benefitting Reading Camp Calvert was held. According to a company press release, “since 2014, Chick fil-A has donated nearly 70,000 books to 341 local organizations in 45 states and Washington, DC.”

The restaurant hours are 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday; closed Sundays.

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Read the first news story about the Prince Frederick Chick fil-A by clicking here