A drive-thru proposed for one of the busiest roads along Solon’s downtown commercial district was given the green light last week by the City Council Safety and Public Properties Committee.
The committee reviewed from a safety perspective a drive-thru proposed by City Barbecue, which plans on constructing a new, freestanding 3,008 square foot building at 6372 SOM Center Road, near Station Street.
City safety force officials gave their nod of approval for the plan, as did the city traffic engineer.
City Council added their approval for the overall site plan on Tuesday. The restaurant plans to begin construction in spring and open by fall.
“This is the best proposal we are going to get in terms of access management and site management,” said Michael A. Hobbs, the city’s traffic engineer from GPD.
The drive-thru is proposed for the north side of the building wrapping around the west side.
Mr. Hobbs said that currently the two access drives are from the southern property and are both enter or exit and not restricted. The current proposal provides more access control than is there right now by making them one-way circulations, he said.
“The proposal currently is to make those driveways one way in bound and out bound only and restrict those with signage,” Mr. Hobbs said. “That’s a significant improvement compared to what’s out there today,”
City Planning Director Robert S. Frankland said the city has been in discussions with the restaurant for the past year with much give and take on issues, typical of discussions around most new developments in the city.
He thanked City Barbecue and property owner Steve Passov for being so cooperative and coming up with the current design.
“We are excited about this site on SOM, which is why we are working so hard and sticking with it,” Keith Willis, representative of City Barbecue, said. “We think it will be a great location.”
He said they are introducing the drive-thru at this location, and cars will be accessing the restaurant from the adjacent parcel.
They are proposing to close the curb cut nearest to Station Street and have cars access the parking and drive-thru from the southern approach, Mr. Willis explained. People driving south on SOM Center will be able to make a right-hand turn and get into the driveway into the outdoor ordering que, which is on the east side of the building. Pick up is on the west side of the building.
“There is plenty of queuing with wrapping around the building,” Mr. Willis said, noting 10 cars are planned and “more than adequate.”
They also proposed prohibiting left turns for anyone traveling north on SOM Center, and there will be signage and pavement markings to discourage it.
“We are going to be working with the property owner to try to get those folks traveling southbound to make a right turn onto Aurora Road and come through the back parking lot and behind Mr. Chicken to get into the que from that side of the lot,” Mr. Willis explained.
Police Chief Richard A. Tonelli said he had no concerns if it is a right turn for in and right out only. Fire Chief Mark Vedder added that the fire department has no concerns regarding access to the site with emergency vehicles.
“We are very excited to come to the City of Solon and can’t wait to get there,” Mr. Willis said.