Above photo from Chick-fil-A, Tennessee location. 

HAZLET, NJ: Despite the pandemic, business is clucking along in Hazlet. Many locals are very excited about the popular Chick-fil-A  restaurant. With over 2600 locations in 48 states, Chick-fil-A is now breaking ground in Hazlet, on Route 35 North, adjacent to the Cinemark Theatre, near Holmdel.

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Chick-fil-A is one of the largest American fast food restaurant chains, whose specialty is chicken sandwiches. In early 2017, Hazlet's Planning Board approved the construction of the 5,151-square-foot Chick-fil-A plan. According to representatives for Chick-fil-A, the construction did not start until this month because of permit delays. The new restaurant will have a drive-up window and 136 seats inside, according to plans. It also will have 41 parking spaces. The establishment founded in 1967, will be open Monday through Saturday. That is in the tradition of the late founder, S. Truett Cathy whose belief was that employees should have Sundays off to enjoy their families. Chick-fil-A serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers customers catered selections from its menu for special events. 

Not even a pandemic slowed La Rosa Chicken & Grill from opening up its 11th location in Hazlet, recently. La Rosa’s grilled chicken is natural, preservative-free, non-hormone injected and made without MSG. There are no fillers or chemically flavored products. The business is located at 1715 Union Ave. in Hazlet and is currently open for pick-up and take-out, getting rave reviews on social media from happy customers. You can visit LaRosa's Chicken and Grill here. 

Harbor Freight Tools just opened last month in the recently refaced shopping center in Hazlet Plaza on Route 35. Harbor Freight Tools is located in the former Toys R Us building, a 16,000-square-foot store. The retailer has a total of 22 stores in New Jersey. 

Also, recently, a popular Jersey convenience store; Wawa opened up on Route 36, in Hazlet, at Florence Avenue, across from the Airport Plaza shopping center on property that was an abandoned car wash. Wawa relocated a nearby older store, which does not have fuel pump capabilities, and built a new store with gasoline pumps. Wawa is also planning on opening up a second location in Hazlet on Route 35, in the Hazlet Shopping Center parking lot.  "We are pleased to reinvest in the community with a larger store, additional essential services such as fuel, and expanded food service offer including built to order milkshakes, custom salads, and increase the number of jobs in the community," a Wawa spokeswoman Lori Bruce said in a press release.