ST. PETERSBURG — Attention USF St. Petersburg students: Fast-food dining soon will arrive on campus.
A deal inked last week between the university and Chick-fil-A will bring the popular fast-food restaurant to the school in early October.
"That's actually a good thing," said David Ferguson, an 18-year-old freshman who lives at the Residence Hall One dorm part time. "Now I can walk to a place instead of going to the sixth floor of the parking garage to get my car and drive."
Chick-fil-A Express, a scaled-back version of its local counterparts in St. Pete Beach, Pinellas Park, the Tyrone area and on Fourth Street, will take over the school's Coquina Club, a lunch counter between the campus pool and Bayboro Harbor in Coquina Hall.
"It's a great venue," said franchise owner David Neely. "I would think if you are downtown St. Pete and it's a beautiful day, it's an opportunity to get Chick-fil-A and be down by the bay."
Neely said the new restaurant will dish up the chain's signature chicken sandwiches, chicken strips and waffle fries, along with salads and wraps. Breakfast will be served for early risers.
Neely has a one-year lease with the university at 140 Seventh Ave. S. Two one-year contract extensions are available after that, university officials said. The USF St. Petersburg opening will add to the roughly 100 Chick-fil-A locations on college campuses nationwide.
The new venue will be staffed by USF St. Petersburg students and junior managers from the Chick-fil-A at 4241 Fourth St. N.
Tentative hours are 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., but Neely said the restaurant could expand its hours if business swells. He's prepared for that.
"I think it will be a home run," he said.