Chick-fil-a, which opens in Maple Grove and Coon Rapids tomorrow, draws a crowd to its store openings by offering free sandwiches to those who camp out. File photo of a California store opening in 2012.

Patrick Fallon, Bloomberg

Lines form outside Chick-fil-A sites in Maple Grove, Coon Rapids

  • October 9, 2013 - 11:44 AM

Chick-fil-A, one of the country’s fastest-growing fast-food chains, has attracted dozens of Minnesotans to camp out for a chicken sandwich giveaway as it prepares to open its first stand-alone stores in the state.

The company tomorrow will open two of four planned new Twin Cities locations, in Maple Grove and Coon Rapids. It will open stores in Apple Valley and Bloomington next month.

The second-largest U.S. fast-food chicken purveyor after KFC, Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A plans to eventually have 10 new stores in Minnesota within three to five years, mostly in the Twin Cities metro area.

It now has three outlets in Minnesota: one each at the University of Minnesota, Minnesota State University, Mankato and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Chick-fil-A outlets are scheduled to open Thursday at 11820 Fountains Way in Maple Grove and 3590 River Rapids Drive NW in Coon Rapids.

The first 100 adults, ages 18 and older with identification, who are in line when the doors open at each restaurant about 6 a.m. on Thursday will each win a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A meals — 52 coupons, each consisting of its standard chicken sandwich, medium waffle potato fries and a medium drink.

Participants in the "First 100" promotion could officially start lining up at 6 a.m. this morning. Those chosen from a drawing must camp out over the next 24 hours to secure their spots.

Chick-fil-A is known for its chicken sandwiches; there’s hardly any meat on its menu that’s not poultry. The family-owned company was founded in 1967 and today has about 1,740 restaurants in 39 states and Washington, D.C.

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