East Atlanta’s Flatiron fires back at Chick-fil-A

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Fed up with the outpouring of support for Chick-fll-A’s anti-gay attitudes, the partly gay-owned Flatiron Restaurant & Bar offered up its own response, East Atlanta style. Which means quirky, smart and fun.

A godless fried chicken lesbian sandwich, cooked up with love for those “Chick-fil-A-Holes.”

The restaurant’s kitchen manager created Wednesday’s special after he and co-owner Christopher Cooper, who is gay, checked their Facebook feeds over coffee and realized it was Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. The event, promoted by former GOP presidential contender Mike Huckabee, rallied supporters of the Atlanta-based chain after criticism over recent anti-gay statements from its president, Dan Cathy.

“Our staff is pretty open to every walk of life provided it doesn’t interfere with anyone else’s,” Cooper says. “Andy, our kitchen manager, was provoked to anger that people would actually plan support for discrimination. His answer was to run a fried chicken sandwich special, to name it in a manner that was most contrary to Chick-fil-A’s ‘values’ and for us to have fun with it for the day.”

They placed a board promoting the sandwich (photo) in front of the restaurant on Flat Shoals Avenue, posted a photo to Facebook and watched as reaction poured in. Some 1,276 “likes” and 136 comments later, the chicken special proved a hit.

“We poke fun at a lot of things, but this issue was of particular relevance to us. We have a large gay clientele and myself and a lesbian on staff. The neighborhood was overwhelmingly supportive. We had a busy day, at that. Even the folks that I thought I might have to explain myself to seemed to have a laugh about it,” Cooper says.

The goal? To show that like the restaurant’s eclectic crowd – Cooper says his brunch regulars include “a priest, some bikers, a bunch of tattooed musicians, lesbians and a few gay men” – check their politics and religion at the door and keep them out of their food.

“The goal wasn’t to imply that we were Godless, or that we didn’t endorse religion. Just that God didn’t belong in our food and likely wouldn’t endorse fundraisers for hate and discrimination. We just wanted to make it clear that we stand in support of equality. For everyone,” Cooper says.

Flatiron isn’t the only gay-owned or gay-friendly restaurant to respond to Chick-fil-A’s statements. An Atlanta lesbian couple that includes singer Doria Roberts is offering Two Chicks-fil-A Sunday Brunches at their Urban Cannibals restaurant to combat the chain being closed on Sundays.

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