After great anticipation, the home of the original chicken sandwich came to the Lindale area this week.

On Tuesday, the Chick-fil-A Lindale/North Tyler, located at the intersection of US Highway 69 and Interstate 20 just outside of Lindale, opened for hundreds of customers coming to the drive-thru and for carry-out food.

This branch of the chicken restaurant is operated by Joshua Johnson, a Tyler native, who grew up near where the Lindale Chick-fil-A is located now. The restaurant will bring 120 full- and part-time employees.

Johnson worked as a team member at the Broadway Square Mall in Tyler when he was 16. He was awarded a Remarkable Futures Scholarship from Chick-fil-A, Inc., which honors team members who demonstrate leadership skills and a remarkable commitment to their communities and education, according to a news release.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer and electrical engineering from Baylor University in 2003 and a masters in business administration from the University of Texas at Tyler in 2010. He also worked at Chick-fil-A Franklin Avenue in Waco while in college.

He became an operator of his first restaurant in 2005 at Chick-fil-A South Park Mall in San Antonio. Two years later, he returned to Chick-fil-A Broadway Mall to become its operator, where he served in that role for 14 years.

Johnson and his wife Jill met while working as employees at Chick-fil-A Broadway Square Mall and have four children. Johnson is the president of Leadership Tyler, an organization focused on equipping local leaders with the necessary tools to enhance the community, and is president-elect of Discovery Science Place.

He is a board member of the East Texas Youth Orchestra, an organization that uses performing arts to educate its participants and enrich its community.

“My wife and I, along with our four young sons, are excited to have the opportunity to serve Lindale, North Tyler and the surrounding communities,” Johnson said. “Chick-fil-A Lindale/North Tyler will be the only Chick-fil-A in the area for over 20 miles, and we are eager to begin serving our guests, friends and family great-tasting food in a safe and welcoming environment.”

The restaurant address is 13816 US Highway 69, and the hours are 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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I came to the Tyler Morning Telegraph in September 2019. I report on crime, courts, breaking news and various events in Tyler and East Texas.