Will Chick-fil-A Just Move Their Ambassador Caffery Traffic Problem to the New Location on Kaliste Saloom?
There is a lot of excitement surrounding the new Chick-fil-A location on Kaliste Saloom.
I guess we could call it double-edged excitement because who doesn't love new things right?
Chick-fil-A's new Kaliste Saloom location opens up this Wednesday (May 11) and on top of being at one of Lafayette's busiest intersections (Kaliste Saloom & Ambassador Caffery), it's smack dab in the middle of a shopping compound that is anchored by stores like Costco, Home Goods, and more.
If you're a fan of having options, it's also nestled in an area where restaurants like McDonald's, Walk-On's, Taco Bell, Blaze Pizza, Chuy's, Sonic, and many others are within walking distance.
Doing your grocery shopping at Whole Foods or making a Target run? Boom. Chick-fil-A. Right there.
Look, I'm sure Chick-fil-A's team has done market research that is far more extensive than the surface-level observations that I just made, but let's talk about the elephant in the room—or should we call it the elephant in the road?
One of Lafayette's legendary grievances has been the fact that overflow from the old Chick-fil-A location would spill out into Ambassador Caffery traffic. When the fast-food restaurant announced they would be closing the Ambassador Caffery location, a lot of folks rejoiced at the fact that the notorious Ambassador Caffery traffic jam would be alleviated.
But almost immediately, there were comments suggesting that Chick-fil-A would just be moving their traffic issues to Kaliste Saloom.
Well, now we've got a better idea of how the new location's drive-thru setup will affect traffic. To be fair, the Ambassador Caffery traffic issue wasn't a problem that was exclusive to that particular Lafayette location. Have you ever been to the Chick-fil-A location near Target on the north side of Lafayette?
The drive-thru is always packed, and while it isn't necessarily blocking a major thoroughfare in the center of town, drive-thru traffic still regularly backs up into the street leading to the Target shopping center. As a matter of fact, this is an accurate description of every Chick-fil-A that I've ever driven by or patronized—from Louisiana to Georgia and beyond.
The general consensus is that the chicken is just that damn good.
So, let's get back to the original topic at hand: How will this new location affect your commute near the intersection of Kaliste Saloom and Ambassador Caffery Parkway?
Well, at first glance, there is no direct access to the restaurant from Kaliste Saloom. You actually have to turn into the shopping center before gaining access to the restaurant's parking lot and drive-thru.
Once you do, there's a clear sign that points you toward a drive-thru so there is no confusion.
Speaking of that drive-thru. It's one of those double-doozy ones that looks more like a car wash than a fast-food restaurant.
Once you make the round, the drive-thru then morphs into what looks like a bank drive-through—fully covered with lighting and a very long stretch that will certainly hold its fair share of vehicles.
Let me be clear, if any restaurants will test the limits of this state of the art drive-through, it will be the Chick-fil-A on the southside of Lafayette, but any issues will more than likely be contained within the shopping center parking lot as opposed to pouring out into a major roadway in our community.
I guess you could call it controlled chaos, but if it ever gets to that point, it will be a great problem for Chick-fil-A to have.
DL Dude from Developing Lafayette took a gang of pictures that further illustrate these points.
Keep in mind, that Chick-fil-A will also be opening near Johnston Street and Ridge road, so that will help to offload some of the potential southside traffic, and rumors of a Broussard location continue to swirl as well.
There's also the Acadiana Mall location for those who want to relieve that Chick-fil-A off Ambassador feeling.