It has been said for centuries that when one door closes, another opens, and management is taking the adage literally at two Chick-fil-A restaurants in Tuscaloosa.

Store staff and local business leaders gathered at the bigger, better Chick-fil-A Thursday - it's now open at 2015 McFarland Boulevard East in front of the Bowlero bowling alley and just north of the now-being-upgraded Snow Hinton Park.

Across the highway at 2014 McFarland Boulevard East, the "old" Chick-fil-A drive-thru is all closed up - a strange sight after its years of success during seemingly daily rushes for breakfast, lunch and dinner - except on Sundays, of course.

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(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)

Managers said the new Chick-fil-A is a major upgrade to their longtime location across the street, which featured no indoor seating and was ill-suited to handle more than 12-15 vehicles at a time.

The now-open replacement has more than 50 interior tables with space for more than 80 guests at once and the new drive-thru is designed to handle more than twice the number of cars as the last store. They've also more than tripled their staff size and expect to make millions of sales a year in the new space.

Owners William Boulware and Gabriella Satterberg were joined by city councilman John Faile and a team of ambassadors from the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama Thursday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new restaurant.

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)

"When I think about Chick-fil-A, I think about faith, and I am glad you had the faith in Tuscaloosa to do this because this is going to be wonderful and help this area," Faile told the owners. "Thank you for all you've done and all the people you're employing."

And as grateful as Faile and the Chamber are for the increased economic impact of the new location, both owners stuck to the Chick-fil-A way and said it was their pleasure to be here in the city of champions.

"We are just so thrilled to be a part of this side of town," Satterberg said. "We've been on Skyland at Chick-fil-A South for more than 10 years and are excited for what this amazing opportunity holds."

"We've loved being a part of this community for so long now and it's a blessing to be here, to be a part of this wonderful ecosystem and in this incredible college football city that we have, allongside everything else we've got going on in Tuscaloosa," Boulware said. "Thank you for the support."

The new Chick-fil-A is open now with the infrastructure to handle bigger crowds than ever - go check out the new space at 2015 McFarland Boulevard East any day but Sunday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

As always, for more exclusive coverage of restaurant and retail development in West Alabama, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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Gallery Credit: (Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)

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