Despite a stubborn winter plagued by sub-zero temperatures, representatives from Bob Evans Farms Inc. restaurants told Chardon Planning Commission Tuesday they want to break ground…
Despite a stubborn winter plagued by sub-zero temperatures, representatives from Bob Evans Farms Inc. restaurants told Chardon Planning Commission Tuesday they want to break ground on a restaurant in Chardon as early as March.
The eatery won’t resemble most Bob Evans restaurants in Ohio because it will be a prototype of a new design the company is putting up, said Steve Yaney, city planning and zoning administrator.
It is the fourth or fifth such design approved for Ohio sites. The only one in operation, so far, is in Harrison, he said.
The plans approved by the commission show a 4,274-square-foot structure with 37 tables and a seating capacity of 131, Yaney said.
The new design calls for a farm-type atmosphere with a more open eating area, a larger bakery counter and no gift shop.
When the project was originally proposed to the commission in August, a spring opening was discussed. However, last Tuesday, representatives said they are planning to open the doors by Labor Day.
“Realistically, it may be sooner. There’s some (allowance for bad) weather built into the timeline,” Yaney said.
A few changes in landscaping had been made from the first plans, he said.
Otherwise, the commission had no quibble with the project and approved it easily. The company planned to apply for permits by the end of last week, Yaney said.
Located at the southwest corner of Center Street and Meadowlands Drive, the site is owned by Chardon DeBartolo LLC.
The 1.37-acre parcel has two driveway stubs leading off the parking lot belonging to Home Depot, according to the Geauga County Auditor’s website, which places the value of the property at 295 Meadowlands Drive at about $63,000.
Part of Tuesday’s conversation included parking for customers and employees. The plan is to connect the Home Depot and the Bob Evans parking lots and line up the rows of parking spaces.
“We didn’t see the logic of breaking up the parking lot,” Yaney said.
Without barriers between the lots, snow plowing will be easier, he said.
Also, overflow customer traffic from the Bob Evans lot may use the Home Depot spaces, which are rarely occupied, he said in August.
The commission also approved a permit for signage on all four sides of the building because there is no direct entrance from either Center Street or Meadowlands Drive, Roessner said.
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