Crispy Fried Chicken is coming to Byron Bay.
Crispy Fried Chicken is coming to Byron Bay.

Fast-food fury over 'pretend KFC' for Byron

DEVELOPERS of a new shopping precinct promised Byron Bay it would not bring in fast-food giants like McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut and Hungry Jacks.

But just days ahead of the opening of Mercato on Byron, residents are angry over confirmation of a fried chicken shop that has a familiar ring to it.

Crispy Fried Chicken's fourth shop will open at Mercato, but residents say they won't be fooled, calling it a "pretend KFC".

Resident Nicqui Yazdi posted on Byron Bay Community Board saying she was "disappointed to learn that the new Mercato complex in Byron will be just like any other shopping centre, more suitable to somewhere like Logan, than Byron Bay".

"As for the promise to NOT have junk food, well it might not be KFC, but it might as well be," she said.

But a spokesman for Crispy Fried Chicken said people "should not jump to conclusions".

"It's not a franchise, it's not a multi-national business," he said.

"It's a local business because we started in Brisbane, then opened in the Gold Coast."

Ms Yazdi said she hoped the "pretend KFC" would "be doing something responsible about the amount of rubbish and packaging they will add to the streets, gutters, parks and beaches of Byron".

"I can't help but think we may have finally lost the battle to keep Byron free from things like KFC and Maccas," she said.

"Fried chicken in packaging like this is what we have dreaded happening to Byron for decades."


Crispy Fried Chicken is coming to Byron Bay.
Crispy Fried Chicken is coming to Byron Bay.

Others commented on the post saying it was "another nail in the coffin of Byron", and was becoming an "extension of the Gold Coast".

CSC spokesman said the packaging they use in other stores was "normal packaging" without their branding.

"I think people should support local businesses," he said.

The Five Star Green retail complex, Mercato on Byron posted the announcement on their social media and said the owner of Crispy Fried Chicken "has sourced vegetables and potatoes from local growers and says their recipes use fresh ingredients only".

They said Mercato stands for true nourishment and the recycled materials make the complex "a real reflection of our community".

Ms Yazdi's post attracted more than 120 comments, but not everyone was against the new shop.

Karene Wodiske said, "Could be worse folks, glad it's not KFC!"

Ghosne Aoun: "Yum. About time Byron got some good crispy fried chicken!!!!!! It's not the first food chain in Byron."

Developed by Azzura Investments Limited and Wingate Property, Mercato is already 70 per cent leased with other retailers such as Bed, Bath and Table, Livelife Pharmacy, Otto Kebabs, Bay Sushi, Beef and Beach Byron Bay signing on the dotted line.