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By Norb Garrett

One year ago, on July 1, 2020, smack in the middle of the worst pandemic the world has known in 100 years, Chick-fil-A opened at the Outlets at San Clemente.

“The word of the year is ‘unexpected’—unexpected challenges, hiccups, you name it. But with that comes opportunity,’” said owner and operator Erik Baker during a one-year anniversary celebration last week.

Suzanne Alameri and Erik Baker of Chick-fil-A San Clemente celebrate the restaurant’s one-year anniversary on July 1. Photo: Norb Garrett

Baker, along with his general manager, Suzanne Alameri, and a number of new employees paired with a large contingent of employees who moved from his Foothill Ranch location, opened the popular chicken restaurant, offering drive-through service and a new dining option for San Clementeans.

Within a week, the business added curbside ordering and delivery options as well, and the business was off and running. Despite the challenges, the restaurant one year later celebrated its anniversary with a party in the parking lot, featuring live music, giveaways and a raffle.

Baker said he’s happy with how the business has fared.

“San Clemente is a community that’s really chill,” he said. “The community had patience and grace that got us through.”

Chick-fil-A at the Outlets at San Clemente is located 495 W. Avenida Vista Hermosa, San Clemente. 949.486.6023.

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