BATAVIA – Contrary to endless conspiracy theories on social media in Batavia, the Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers restaurant will indeed open.
In fact, any person gazing at the construction site on the corner of Randall Road and McKee Street can see that work is progressing.
The real news is that the construction is proceeding at a pace that realistically will allow for a December opening, Batavia Building Commissioner Jeff Albertson said.
With the structure in place, the next step will be installation of the mechanical and electrical systems, Albertson said.
“They still need to get the parking lot in before the asphalt plants close in November,” Albertson said.
Social media has been abuzz for weeks with rumors and innuendo suggesting that the Batavia restaurant will not open.
Batavia Community Development Director Scott Buening was more direct and called the social media posts outright lies.
The restaurant, part of a nationwide Texas-based chain, is occupying a one-acre site at at the southeast corner of Randall and McKee, the former location of the Avenue Motors automobile dealership.
Plans call for a 3,300-square-foot restaurant with two drive-thru lanes, 28 parking spaces and a small outdoor seating area.
About 60 percent of the restaurant’s business is expected to be from drive-thru customers.
Raising Cane’s has more than 400 restaurants, and with a marketing tagline of “One Love,” has a menu tightly focused on its chicken fingers and dipping sauces, with just fries, Texas toast, coleslaw, tea and lemonade to round out the offerings.
The restaurant’s location will place it in direct competition with Chick-fil-A, which does a booming business immediately on the other side of Randall Road.
The Batavia Raising Cane’s restaurant will employ about 60 to 65 crew members, along with five managers.
The restaurant is occupying the most prominent portion of the old Avenue Motors property, but there are seven acres remaining for Kensington Development Partners of Oak Brook to attract additional businesses.
The development firm hopes to bring in a major anchor tenant for the 5.2 acres to the south of the restaurant.
When that happens, an access roadway will connect the redevelopment site with the existing shopping center anchored by Ace Hardware and Apple Villa Famous Pancakes, creating a welcome new link between McKee Street and West Wilson Street.
There will be two vehicle access driveways for the restaurant, both on McKee Street. One, closest to the Randall-McKee intersection, will be right-in only, while the other will allow motorists to both enter and exit the site.
The twin drive-thru ordering lanes will begin along the south side of the building, eventually merging into a single lane for payment and pickup at windows on the north side of the building.
Along the east side of the Raising Cane’s will be the start of the access road that ultimately will connect McKee and West Wilson streets.
To the east of that roadway will be room for another commercial site along McKee Street.
The access road will line up with the existing roadway heading north from McKee Street that serves the shopping center anchored by Menards.