A local lawmaker says Chick-Fil-A will not be coming to the Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan says those plans, which were publicly revealed this week, have been scraped by Delaware North, which operates the airport’s restaurants.
“(Delaware North) was very quick to realize that this is a potential problem, having a company like this in a state-run facility,“
The airport is operated by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, which is a public authority. Friday afternoon, NFTA spokesperson Helen Tederous acknowledged that Chick-Fil-A will not be coming to the airport.
“We are working with Delaware North to move forward on identifying and offering best in class food selections for the thousands of customers who came in and out of our airport, which J.D. Power just ranked #1 in customer satisfaction,“ Tederous said.
Delaware North did not respond to requests for comment on Ryan’s announcement. A spokesperson for Chick-Fil-A said company officials were looking into the matter.
Plans to open a Chick-Fil-A inside the airport became public Monday at a meeting of the NFTA’s Board of Commissioners. Late Thursday night, Ryan, a Democrat, released a statement urging the authority to shut the proposal down, citing the restaurant’s stance on LGBT issues.
“New York State, which runs the NFTA, has strict rules about not engaging in the practices of discrimination against the LGBT community,“ Ryan said in an interview Friday afternoon.
The assemblyman acknowledged he had communication with the NFTA, but was unsatisfied with its response.
“I’m a bit disappointed with the NFTA,“ he said. “They wanted to talk about how they could allow (Chick-Fil-A) to stay.“
The situation mirrors one playing out in San Antonio. There, the city council blocked Chick-Fil-A from its airport last week. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is investigating the move, one he indicated could be unconstitutional.
Ryan said that shouldn’t happen here.
“I don’t expect that to happen,“ he said during a break from state budget negotiations. “Texas is a bit of a different state than ours. I assume it was politically-charged.“
The Buffalo-area’s first Chick-Fil-A opened on Walden Ave. in Cheektowaga in November. A second restaurant is planned for the intersection of Transit Rd. and Losson Rd.
“That location is still a go,“ Matthew Janiszewski, assistant to Cheektowaga Town Supervisor Diane Benczkowski, said. “Chick-Fil-A is in the final phases of pre-construction. They are currently working with the town’s building department on final approval.“