DeKALB – A southern-style chicken restaurant chain which will set up shop in DeKalb later this year on the land formerly used by Applebee’s, 2411 Sycamore Road, hopes to solidify zoning plans despite being short on city parking requirements by 30 spaces.
Louisiana-based Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers will look demolish the building once used by Applebee’s, and build a 3,357-square-foot new one on the land, with a drive-thru and outdoor seating area, according to city documents. The site plan shows 46 parking spaces with two handicap accessible ones, which does not coincide with the city ordinance regulations for fast food restaurants, which require 76 spaces, documents show. A parking and traffic analysis done by the applicant shows the parking demand at the Oak Lawn Raising Cane’s as a peak demand of 26 parking spots, despite providing 41 spaces in the lot.
The restaurant will offer 95 seats inside and 26 outdoor seats, documents show.
The site plan heads to the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the DeKalb Municipal Building, 200 S. Fourth St. The land does not need to be rezoned since it’s been zoned as commercial in the city since 1993, documents show. The plans heading to the commission are for a special-use permit for a drive-thru fast food restaurant.
The applicant is requesting the city waive the normal parking requirements, and city staff recommend approval of the request, documents show.
“The proposed special use will redevelop a lot that has not had a user since 2018 and will be an economic benefit to the Sycamore Road corridor,” reads a statement from the city’s principal planner, Dan Olson. “Development on this property would increase the city’s real estate tax base, employment and retail sales tax.”
According to Raising Cane’s website, they’re already looking to hire an operations manager for the DeKalb location. Other new locations hiring include Batavia, Bloomingdale, Crystal Lake, Harwood Heights, Morton Grove, Naperville, Oak Lawn and Oswego.
The building at 2441 Sycamore Road has been vacant for a year and a half, after Applebee’s abruptly closed in June of 2018.
The number of parking spaces provided by Raising Cane’s at their Batavia and Naperville locations are less than what is proposed for the DeKalb location, documents show. For almost the same size restaurant, the DeKalb restaurant plans offer 18 more spaces than Batavia and 12 more than Naperville.
Raising Cane’s estimates that 80% of their business is generated by drive-thru traffic, documents show.
Founded by Todd Graves in 1996 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers has over 380 restaurants in 24 states, according to its website. The company specializes in chicken finger meals. Most restaurant locations open at 10 a.m. daily, the website shows.