Raising Cane's to replace shuttered Buona Beef in Rolling Meadows

Raising Cane's - the quick-service national chain known for its basic menu of chicken fingers, crinkle-cut fries, coleslaw and Texas toast - is continuing its suburban expansion with a new restaurant and drive-through set to open next year in Rolling Meadows.

The new chicken finger coop at 1420 Golf Road would replace the shuttered Buona Beef, which closed in 2020 during the pandemic.

But instead of moving into the old 5,681-square-foot restaurant, Raising Cane's developer is planning to demolish the old building, construct a new 3,077-square-foot structure closer to the Golf Road property line, and leave room for a dual drive-through lane - a reconfigured site layout to accommodate the expected heavy traffic flow in and out of the property.

"The petitioner's business does include some on-site seating, but the majority relies on drive-through business, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way people utilize restaurants," city staff wrote in a report about the proposed redevelopment.

Vehicles would enter the parking lot from a single curb cut on the north side of the one-acre site, with traffic flowing west of the building into the two drive-through lanes, then around the south side, then the east, and out again through the north, according to blueprints provided by the Plano, Texas-based chain's engineer.

For those dining inside or al fresco, there would be 26 parking spaces, including some paved with permeable brick pavers.

The city council gave its initial review to the plans this week, giving it a favorable, unanimous first reading vote. Final approval of a special use and zoning code variations for parking, landscaping, setbacks and signage is scheduled for July 12.

Raising Cane's, contract purchaser of the property from Buona, opened its first location in 1996 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Since then, it's opened some 600 restaurants nationwide, including more than 20 in Chicago and the suburbs. The Rolling Meadows location would join one that opened in January near Palatine and Arlington Heights roads in Arlington Heights.

The chain plans to hire 55 employees for the new store. Hours would be 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Construction is set to start in August and be completed by January.

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