Raising Cane’s unveils plans for Macedonia eatery

Ken Lahmers
Special to MyTownNEO
This illustration shows the former Steak-N-Shake property on Route 82 where a Raising Cane's chicken fingers restaurant plans to open in spring 2021. A patio is planned in the lower right corner outside the building. The drive-thru lanes and parking spaces also are shown.

MACEDONIA – Chicken eateries have been on the minds of city planning commission members the last few weeks. A new one plans to come to town, and changes are planned at an existing one.

OLIO Development of Columbus unveiled plans to convert the former Steak-N-Shake on Route 82 to a Raising Cane's chicken fingers restaurant at the planning panel’s Dec. 21 meeting. The panel approved a preliminary site plan.

In November, proposed aesthetic and service improvements to the Chick-fil-A property/building at the Crossings at Golden Link (Routes 8 and 82) were unveiled.

OLIO Development already has began work at the 4,520-square-foot Macedonia location. Spokesman Drew Gatliff said original plans were to demolish the building and erect a new one, but officials decided to renovate the existing structure.

Gatliff said separate pay and pickup drive-thru windows are planned on the west side, with a 28-foot tower with the eatery’s name on three sides in the front, although some planning panelists encouraged the firm to rethink the height of the tower.

An uncovered patio is planned in the front, and the parking lot would have 34 parking spaces. City planner Brian Frantz said a variance from the board of zoning appeals for reduced parking is necessary. He added signage “shouldn’t be a problem.”

Frantz recommended a 19-foot wide vehicle exit aisle on the west side of the property be reduced a few feet to allow for additional landscaping between it and the drive-thru lane.

Gatliff said if all approvals are granted in a timely manner and there are no construction delays, the eatery likely would open in May 2021.

Raising Cane's was founded in August 1996 in Baton Rouge, La. by Todd Graves and Craig Silvey. The chain, which has about 530 locations – Strongsville and Kent are the closest to Macedonia – was named after Graves’ yellow Labrador retriever Raising Cane.

The business offers five main combos: the Box, 3-Finger, Caniac, Kids Combo and Sandwich. Side items are french fries, Texas toast and coleslaw. The firm uses canola oil to cook the tenders and fries.

Meanwhile, in November the planning panel tabled action on Chick-fil-A’s plans, and could continue discussion at its Jan. 11 session. CBD Design Inc. officials have said the business likely would shut down for up to two months during construction.

A 22-square-foot addition to accommodate a touchless door is planned on the drive-thru side of the building, and a 333-square-foot addition with a door is planned on the north side. The current building measures 4,227 square feet and the property is 1.97 acres.

Proposed improvements to the two-lane drive-thru area include new meal delivery canopies with fans and heaters and a pedestrian walkway to the outside lane. A new canopy would be placed over the main entrance on the west side, while the canopy over the ordering station will remain.

Chick-fil-A wall signs on all four sides of the building would be refurbished. Several other small signs on the property would be replaced, and new landscaping is planned. The parking area would remain as is.

CROSSINGS SIGN

Panelists tabled action on a new monument sign proposed at the new Route 8 “right-in, right-out” entrance to the Crossings at Golden Link.

Ed Parker from Meld Architects of Mayfield Village said the proposed sign would be about 13.5 feet wide and 18 feet high, but some panelists took issue with the proposed height and size.

Frantz said three variances would be needed from the BZA: one for height (the sign code allows only 10 feet), one for overall size (the code specifies 45 square feet, while the proposal is for 225 square feet) and one because the sign would be in the public right of way.

Parker said the sign would be smaller than the one at the Route 82 entrance to the Crossings. It would have a brick base with the words “Golden Link Boulevard,” and a back-lit, acrylic surface listing the names of the plaza businesses at the top.

Parker stressed a bigger sign would be more visible to fast-moving drivers on Route 8. City Engineer Joe Gigliotti said the plans for a bigger sign than the code allows is not unreasonable considering the sign is set back a ways from Route 8.

Panelist Joe Schiavone said although some panelists might consider the sign too large, “ultimately the decision lies with the BZA.” He said the panel can forward its concerns to the latter panel.

The planning panel is scheduled to discuss the sign further at its Jan. 11 meeting. The next BZA session will be Jan. 20.