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Big (and early) turn-out for grand opening of Montana's newest Chick-fil-A

Chick-Fil-A grand opening in Billings
Posted at 7:04 PM, Jan 19, 2023

BILLINGS — Instead of the early bird catching the worm, the early bird got the first chicken of the day at the grand opening of a Chick-fil-A in Billings on Thursday morning.

Billings resident Gina Gallo was not taking any chances of missing out when it came to the big day: “I haven’t been to sleep yet,” Gallo said at 5 a.m. while waiting in line. “Now I'm just running on sugar and adrenaline.”

Gallo arrived long before the sun rose and the store opened. She pulled into the parking lot at 1:15 a.m. hoping to be the first in line at the drive-thru.

The best word to describe how she felt when she realized she would be first in line: Thrilled.

Gina Gallo ordering at Chick-fil-A
After waiting over five hours, Gina Gallo is one of the first to place an order in the drive-thru at the Billings Chick-fil-A.

“I may have ‘squeed’ just a little bit,” she said excitedly.

Justin Nowicki was among those first in line, but he opted to skip the drive-thru and instead braved the chilly morning weather, waiting to dine inside.

“I took the day off today to come out here, so made a trip out of it,” he said. Nowicki traveled an hour from Crow Agency to stand in line.

Justin Nowicki
Justin Nowicki has traveled to 300 Chick-fil-A restaurants and has attended two grand openings.

But this isn't his first time at a Chick-fil-A restaurant, or his first time at an opening for the fast food spot.

“This is my second opening, but I’ve been to about 300 locations,” he said. “I grew up in Orlando, Florida, so I love Chick-fil-A. It's been a part of my whole life since I’ve been a little kid. I’m 31 now, so a long, long time.”

There is a Chick-fil-A in Kalispell, and a Chick-fil-A opened in Missoula recently. A franchisee applied last year for a permit for a commercial building in Helena (link).

The national chain - most famous for its chicken sandwiches and waffle fries - is headquartered in Georgia and has more than 2,800 locations.


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