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Chick-fil-A opens in Valpo and South Bend
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Chick-fil-A opens in Valpo and South Bend

Chick-fil-A opens Thursday in Valpo

The new Chick-fil-A in Schererville is shown.

Lines of cars have been wrapped around the building since Chick-fil-A opened last week at the new Oak District by the old Omni Fitness in Schererville.

Now the Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, known for its southern-style chicken sandwiches, is continuing its march across Northern Indiana with a store in Valparaiso and in South Bend.

The fast food restaurant, which helped start the ongoing chicken sandwich wars via its rivalry with Popeye's, estimates it will employ 340 workers at its new Northwest Indiana restaurants in Schererville and Valparaiso. Chick-fil-A, known for being closed on Sundays and having a loyal cult following like In-N-Out Burger or Whataburger, also has a location outside the Southlake Mall in Hobart.

They also sell a variety of chicken products, freshly squeezed lemonades and sides like kale salad.

The Valparaiso location opens at 6:30 a.m. Thursday at 61 Silhavy Road in Valparaiso Walk in between Valparaiso Marketplace and Porter's Vale Shopping Center in Valpo's suburban commercial hub of outdoor shopping centers on the city's east end.

Valparaiso native David Hershberger, a franchisee who started working as a team manager at a Chick-fil-A Mishawaka in 2015, owns and operates that franchise. Franchisee Julia Mueller owns the new franchise on Portage Road in South Bend.

The new fast-food restaurants have drive-thrus and dining in, as well as contactless ordering and payment online or through the free Chick-fil-A app.

Both are forgoing the traditional Chick-fil-A First 100 Grand Opening celebration, in which the first 100 in line get free food, because of the pandemic. They're instead donating to local food banks and giving 100 local heroes free Chick-fil-A for a year.

The Valparaiso Chick-fil-A restaurant will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

For more information, visit chick-fil-a.com or call the Valparaiso restaurant at 219-266-4855.

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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