Cary finds Bojangles’ decor is too spicy
What does the best Bojangles’ look like?
The Cary Town Council wrestled with that question Thursday night during a public hearing on a new Bojangles’ proposed for N.C. 55 near the Carpenter Historic District.
Besides fried chicken and biscuits, the fast-food restaurants are known for their orange metal-roof awnings — something that is not in Cary’s color pallete of brown, beige and tan.
Years ago, another eatery — Gypsy’s Shiny Diner — drew the council’s ire for its polished metal facade.
The new Bojangles’ only came to the council’s attention because it has a drive-thru, requiring council approval.
Tri-Arc Food Systems in Raleigh submitted a sketch plan that showed where the 4,700 squarefoot restaurant would sit on the property. It lacked many details, which irked some council members.
“I would put this in the category of disappointing uses,” said District A representative Jennifer Robinson. “Can the sketch plan overcome the most disappointing use next to a historic area? I don’t see anything that accomplishes it.”
The stretch of NC 55 where the Bojangles’ is proposed has developed quickly as Cary has grown north toward Durham. It won’t be in the historic district, but across the CSX Rail corridor from it.
The Carpenter Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000, now is surrounded with new roads and neighborhoods. It had three general stores, 15 homes and several other commercial and transportation-related buildings near the intersection of Morrisville-Carpenter Road and NC 55.
The restaurant will be near other businesses – self-storage facilities and a new Eagles gas station next door.
“They’re both crap,” Robinson said. “... It seems like the applicant needs to step up their game with the sketch plan and make it more acceptable.”
But council member Don Frantz defended the Bojangles’ proposal. “It’s pretty unfitting to say this is not in harmony when it is right next to a gas station to the north and storage units to the south,” Frantz said. “I don’t see how you penalize Bojangles’ in this regard.”
Despite her harsh words, Robinson later voted to approve the development plan, sketch and all.
Jack Smith of District C cast the only vote against the development plan. “... the damage is done with the gas station. It’s only approved because we let that domino fall,” he said.