People wait in line during the grand opening of Chick-fil-A in Chicago on… (Brent Lewis/Chicago Tribune…)
The owners of Chicago's only Chick-fil-A restaurant released a statement late Wednesday regarding the growing controversy over the chain president's stance on gay marriage and one alderman's subsequent decision to block the chain from building a restaurant in his ward. Here is the statement, attributed to owner and operator Lauren Silich:
Since our opening last year, Chick-fil-A Loyola Water Tower has been dedicated to serving all of our guests with honor, dignity and respect.
In response to the recent controversy regarding an additional location in Logan Square and comments by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, I would like to invite Mayor Emanuel into my restaurant to meet me, my husband Steve, and my management staff.
We are a family of deep Chicago roots—my husband and I both came from city worker families (teachers, police, laborers) and Steve is a city worker.
We are not a corporation—we are real people and taxpayers as each Chick-fil-A franchise is independently owned and operated. We are Chicagoans who are dedicated to serving our community. We hold fundraisers for hospitals, school, fallen police and we donate to a wide variety of causes, including everything from churches to gay and lesbian organizations.
We alone created 97 jobs this past year and our passion is building leaders for future generations, regardless of sexual orientation or beliefs.
In addition to my personal invitation to Mayor Emanuel, we would like to extend the invitation to any Chicagoan to visit and experience our Restaurant. We will continue to serve our guests in the only way we know how—with great food, exceptional service and a lot of fun.