Chick-Fil-a Is Closing Down Its First UK Branch After Protests From Gay Rights Groups

By Shabana Arif on at

Just a week after opening, it's been announced that the UK's first Chick-fil-A will be shutting down.

The fast food restaurant set up shop in Reading last week and seemed to be off to a positive start with people queuing up to get a taste of the chain's famous chicken sandwich.

However, the Oracle Centre has faced pressured from gay rights campaigners and has decided not to extend the lease on the premises beyond the initial six-month period.

"We always look to introduce new concepts for our customers, however, we have decided on this occasion that the right thing to do is to only allow Chick-Fil-A to trade with us for the initial six-month pilot period, and not to extend the lease any further," it said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A has been affiliated with an anti-LGBT agenda after reports that it donated millions of dollars to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Paul Anderson Youth Home, and The Salvation Army. The company maintains that this is not the case, saying, "There are 145,000 people - black, white; gay, straight; Christian, non-Christian - who represent Chick-fil-A."

Regardless, the restaurant is getting turfed out of its current home next spring, so if you want to sample some of its chicken, you'd better get a wriggle on. It's not clear if the company has plans to continue its UK expansion elsewhere, or pack up shop altogether.

Reading Pride has said that it will continue to protest the outlet as long as it remains at the Oracle Centre. [BBC News]