Chick-fil-A to open in Fashion Island on Thursday

Chick-fil-A continues its Southern California expansion when it opens a store at Newport Beach's Fashion Island on Thursday.

Every 100th customer to the restaurant in the Atrium Cafes that day will receive his or her meal for free, according to a news release. The store is scheduled to open at 8 a.m. and close at 9 p.m.

"Chick-fil-A has come a long way since [founder Truett Cathy] opened that first tiny Chick-fil-A restaurant in an Atlanta mall 45 years ago, but one thing has remained constant: our focus on providing top-quality food in a friendly neighborhood environment," Fashion Island store operator Derek Gann said in a prepared statement. "My team members and I share that same commitment and can't wait to welcome and serve our new guests at Fashion Island."

The Newport location features the chain's latest kitchen design, according to a release, and is the first new Chick-fil-A to open within a California mall in more than 25 years.

The location is also the second to open in the Newport-Mesa area this year. A Costa Mesa location on Harbor Boulevard opened in April.

— Joseph Serna and Jamie Rowe

Twitter: @JosephSerna and @jamierowe3

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