Giant Eagle

The parking lot on the northwest side of Brunswick Town Center will be reconfigured to accommodate the large amount of traffic the new Chick-fil-A restaurant is expected to generate.

BRUNSWICK – Chick-fil-A will soon call Brunswick Town Center home now that the Planning Commission has granted the fast-food chain the green light to move forward with the construction of a 4,993-square-foot restaurant.

After being sent back to the drawing board twice in recent months, representatives appeared before the commission July 11 with detailed site plans for the site at 3470 Center Road that the commission unanimously approved.

Not only do the new plans better position the building to accommodate drive-through stacking, but the final plans also do not call for an order-point canopy the restaurant chain originally wanted to place on the north side of the building abutting Center Road.

The canopy, representatives for Chick-fil-A said, is part of the restaurant’s new prototype and is intended to shield customers from the elements as they are ordering their food. At the same time, it also protects employees who frequently work outside taking orders and making sure traffic moves swiftly through the ordering process.

“We strive to bring a little southern hospitality outside and into our drive-through,” Chick-fil-A representative Jennifer Santelli said in May, noting the restaurant chain recently revamped its drive-through ordering system and sends a team of four to six employees outside into the drive-through lanes so that the food is ready for pickup when the customer gets to the window. “This canopy gives them shade when it is hot and also has heaters and fans to keep them warm or cool, weather depending.”

Because the canopy would be freestanding, made from black metal and would be the first thing people see from the street, planning commission members said the canopy is not suitable for the location, especially inside a special planning district such as Brunswick Town Center.

Shirilla told Chick-fil-A representatives that allowing the canopy in a special planning district, which has strict design guidelines, would “open up a floodgate.”

Chick-fil-A officials say they may come back to the city once the restaurant is built with a modified plan for a canopy.

According to the approved plans for the 0.8-acre site, the restaurant will be constructed on the northwest corner of Brunswick Town Center on the outparcel that once housed Giant Eagle’s GetGo gas station.

Though planning commission members initially expressed concerns over parking at the site due to the restaurant’s proposed location, the restaurant chain has been working with Brixmoor, Town Center’s property management firm, to make sure the drive-through and parking lot are safe for both pedestrians and motorists.

The plans for the site now call for a double drive-through lane, capable of stacking up to 40 vehicles, along with a redesign of the traffic pattern in what is now the northernmost parking lot outside of Giant Eagle.

Construction will likely begin in spring of 2020 with plans to have the restaurant open in early fall.

The project is estimated at $3 million.

“This will be a great asset to the city,” Planning Commission Chairman Joseph Shirilla said. “I know residents are already buzzing about it.”

Chick-fil-A is the largest chicken fast-food restaurant in the nation and the third-largest American fast-food restaurant chain. The company, which was founded in May 1946, is headquartered in College Park, Ga. and currently operates more than 2,300 franchises.

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