A fast food restaurant chain currently trying to take up digs in Northern California is making its way to Lodi.
The Lodi Planning Commission on Wednesday night unanimously approved the conditional use permit and a tentative map for Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, to be located on a vacant portion of the Sunwest Plaza shopping center.
“We think they are a fantastic tenant that will help solidify the anchor tenancy in our shopping center,” Browman Development owner Darryl Browman told the commission Wednesday.
Browman Development owns the Sunwest Plaza, as well as the Town Center across the street and the new Walmart SuperCenter.
“It’s sort of the direction shopping centers are going today,” Browman said. “With COVID, it’s sort of accelerated what’s going on with the e-commerce situation that’s happening to shopping centers. And I think it’s incumbent that if you want to be a successful long-term owner that you bring you good projects and exciting retail and food service tenants like Raising Cane’s. We’re extremely excited to have them here.”
Founded in Baton Rouge, La. in 1996, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers specializes in, as the name says, chicken fingers.
The menu consists of six “combo” choices that include various amounts of chicken fingers, with side orders of crinkle-cut fries, coleslaw and Texas toast, along with dipping sauce.
“What makes us stand out is that at Cane’s, our concept is concise, just like our menu,” company spokesman Brandon Layman said. “We only have one love, and that’s high quality chicken finger meals. We stick to what we’re good at, we perfect it, and we deliver it with excellence.”
According to Wednesday’s staff report, Raising Cane’s will be located in a vacant parking area at the southwest corner of Tienda Drive and Kettleman Lane, next to the Taco Bell and across the driveway from Farmer Boys.
The building will be 3,529 square feet in size, with 12 parking spaces, outdoor patio seating and a drive-thru window.
There are more than 500 Raising Cane’s locations in the United States and Middle East, with the closest operating locations in Reno and Sparks, Nev., as well as in Bakersfield.
In May, the Manteca Planning Commission approved plans for the first Raising Cane’s in Northern California, to be located on East Yosemite Avenue.
Layman told the commission that the restaurant will not be one to just open and operate business as usual, but rather, it will be immersed in community involvement, as at all of its current locations.
“We’ve given $10 million back to the community and added more than 6,000 partners in the community over the years,” he said. “It’s company standard that each member of our crew volunteer with a community organization prior to our restaurant’s (opening). And we’ll donate a minimum $1,000 in opening day earnings to that same organization.”
Also approved by unanimous vote Wednesday night was a conditional use permit for a Woke Athletics personal fitness training studio at 230 S. School St., the former home of King’s Closet and The Shoppe, the latter of which moved out of the space earlier this year.
Owner and applicant Saul Ochoa has no plans to make any additions to the existing 4,000-square-foot space, except for two restrooms and a shower facility.
There will be an open reception area and exercise area inside, as well as office space, according to Wednesday’s staff report. Drinks and nutritional supplements will be available for purchase by clients before and after classes.
Ochoa will have six months after the studio opens to stripe the area behind the building to provide parking stalls for his clientele.
Classes will accommodate no more than 20 people at once, and the studio will be open seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The commission did not discuss either project when approving the projects.