This United Kingdom’s First Chick-fil-A Location Will Be Closing In Light Of Recent Protests
That didn’t last long. The first Chick-fil-A in the U.K., located in a Reading, England shopping center called The Oracle, opened just eight days ago. Today The Oracle’s management tells the BBC the center will not renew Chick-fil-A’s six-month lease, likely as a result of pressure and boycotts from LGBTQ rights groups. According to Eater London, Chick-fil-A was also eyeing an expansion into London, the fate of which is now uncertain.
Controversy greeted Chick-fil-A’s opening in the U.K. from day one; headlines made as much note of Chick-fil-A’s popularity in America as they did of its conservative views and donations to anti-LGBTQ-rights organizations. Without citing that directly, The Oracle’s management said “the right thing to do” was to not renew Chick-fil-A’s lease beyond the six-month trial period.
But people in the U.K. may not have been familiar with Chick-fil-A’s politics prior to its opening in Reading, Eater London reporter James Hansen tells The Takeout.
“I would hazard that the general public weren’t all that familiar [with the chain’s controversial reputation],” Hansen said in an email. “Chick-fil-A has done one-day pop-ups across the U.K., in London and Edinburgh, but given that The Oracle Shopping Centre were happy to take them on for a six month lease—and have only ceded to pressure from LGBTQ protest—I’d say that’s pretty fair bellwether for people’s knowledge.”