Cary finds Bo­jan­gles’ decor is too spicy

The News & Observer - - Business - BY JOE JOHN­SON jjohn­[email protected]­ald­

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.

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