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Chick-fil-A McAlester closer to opening | Local News

Ron Buckley said a new Chick-fil-A restaurant is getting closer to an official opening.

The owner/operator of Chick-fil-A McAlester said the opening date was still not set – but he said the location nearing completion in McAlester’s stores was aiming for a grand opening in the next two months.

“We’re not going to be ready for the start of the football season, but we’re going to be ready for the middle of the football season,” Buckley said.

Buckley said supply chain issues had caused delays, but construction workers had made a lot of progress over the past three weeks.

A canopy is above the two-lane drive-thru – which Buckley says will accommodate around 50 cars at a time.

He said much of the building is built up and “we look good” – although that is subject to change.

The closest Chick-fil-A locations to McAlester before the to-be-determined opening of the new store include 51 miles in Ada and 61 miles in Muskogee.

“We are thrilled to bring Chick-fil-A to McAlester,” Buckley said.

Buckley grew up around Elk City before serving in the Air Force for 28 years – as Brig. Gen., deputy director of operations for U.S. Northern Command, deputy director of operations at the National Military Command Center, and more.

He received a bachelor’s degree in engineering mathematics from the Air Force Academy in 1989, a master’s degree two years later from Columbia University in New York, completed squadron officer school in 1996 and the Air Force Test Pilot School in 2000. He also earned a Masters in Military Operational Art. and scientist in 2002, and a master’s degree in strategic studies in 2009.

Buckley retired from the military, then worked a few years for Amazon in Reno, Nevada, before he and his wife moved to Norman a year ago, then he got the job at Chick-fil -At McAlester in May.

“The idea has always been to try to get back to Oklahoma and to be able to do that in a way where I bring Chick-fil-A, America’s favorite restaurant, to the community, it was super exciting for me and my wife,” he said.

Buckley said the location will hire about 100 full-time and part-time jobs. Applications are open and he said interviews will be held in the coming weeks.

He said a leadership team will be developed with an executive director or general role, as well as marketing, human resources and other positions.

He said the site is looking for kitchen staff, customer service representatives and more to provide customers with a pleasant experience.

“We’re building a whole welcoming forum for people to feel welcome and for families to come and enjoy their time,” Buckley said.

Buckley said full-time positions will start at a minimum of $13 an hour, part-time positions will be paid based on experience, and management positions will come with a higher salary.

Anyone interested can text “CFA” to 918-351-2638 or find an application online on the Chick-fil-A McAlester Facebook page.

The News-Capital reported in 2018 that Chick-fil-A was among the companies targeted for the mall and reported in 2021 when the company struck a deal with developers on a McAlester location.

McAlester’s stores are developed by Burk Collins and Co. through tax increment funding or a TIF agreement with the McAlester City Council and Pittsburg County Commissioners.

Collins agreed to build the mall and a traffic light at his own expense. It will also collect 90% of city and county sales tax revenue from site businesses for five years or until it collects $5 million.

The News-Capital reported in March that the five-year/$5.5 million countdown had begun after Starbucks became the first business to open on the site.

Plans for the multi-tenant building next to Starbucks call for an 1,800 square foot Tropical Smoothie, a 2,500 square foot T-Mobile and room for two more tenants.

Burke’s Outlet opened in late March and Hobby Lobby opened April 1 as flagship stores. TJ Maxx, Ross and Rack Room Shoes also opened this summer.

Teams continue to work on Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Five Below and Jiffy Lube planned for the site.

Developer Burk Collins previously told News-Capital that other companies involved with McAlester’s stores include Ross, Old Navy, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Burger King and others.

Contact Adrian O’Hanlon III at

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