National restaurant chain to take over Bennigan’s slot in Coon Rapids

A chicken restaurant will be replacing the Bennigan’s restaurant in Coon Rapids.

The Coon Rapids Planning Commission has granted site plan approval to Chick-fil-A to build a 4,876 square-foot restaurant at 3590 River Rapids Drive.

Under the plan, Chick-fil-A plans to demolish the current Bennigan’s restaurant to construct its new facility.

According to Scott Harlicker, Coon Rapids planner, Chick-fil-A does not plan to move forward with its project until the spring of 2013.

Meantime, Bennigan’s remains open for business.

The Chick-fil-A plan includes a 170-seat restaurant, 142 inside and 28 outside, a drive-through window and 60 parking stalls, Harlicker wrote in his report to the commission.

The restaurant building will be oriented differently than Benningan’s – north- south, not east-west, he said.

Existing landscaping and curb and gutter will be preserved as much as possible, Harlicker said.

The site access, which is currently in place for Bennigan’s, won’t change – a shared driveway from River Rapids Drive with the adjacent Sterling Bank and Walgreens.

The two lanes for the drive-through will wrap around the north and west sides of the building, providing sufficient stacking, according to Harlicker.

The restaurant will be one-story high, with the exterior in red brick for the body of the building and a tan brick accent band around the top and main entrance, Harlicker stated his report.

The dining and interior playground will be surrounded by large windows with the main entrance on the east side of the building and large windows on the south side the focal points further identified by raised parapets, he said.

The commission’s site plan approval came with some conditions, which include irrigation of all landscaped areas, an additional 37 shrubs planted along River Rapids Drive and a three-foot high screen along Round Lake Boulevard and River Rapids Drive comprising a hedge, berming, a fence or any combination.

Chick-fil-A, which is described as a quick-service restaurant, has three other locations in Minnesota – University of Minnesota campus, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and Mankato.

According to its website, the company, which is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., started in 1946 when Truett Cathy opened his first restaurant in Hapeville, Ga., and is credited with inventing Chick-fil-A’s boneless breast of chicken sandwich.

Cathy founded Chick-fil-A in the early 1960s and it has grown to become to second largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain in the United States with some 1,615 locations in 39 states and Washington, D.C., the website states.

Besides Coon Rapids, Bennigan’s locations in Minnesota include St. Cloud, Plymouth, Bloomington, Rochester, Duluth, Grand Rapids and Bemidji.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]

  • mike hanks

    I didn’t think there were any Bennigan’s left. The one in Bloomington has been closed for quite some time.

  • Audrey Huss Charba

    Chick Fil A is not just a chicken restaurant– They invented the chicken sandwich! It is such a great restaurant with personable and attentive employees. Very family friendly, I am very excited. (and the first 100 grad opening guests usually win chick fil a for a year!!!! BE THERE!)

  • Kirsten

    The fact that the city of Coon Rapids has the nerve to bring this resturant into a city that just had a legal battle with the ‘Anoka-Hennepin school district over the harassment and bullying of students who are gay, or perceived to be gay’, where the Justice Department found sex-based harassment contributed to a “hostile environment” in the district. This shows a total lack of sensitivity to the children and families that live just a stones through from this site!

    • Rhonda

      The government (local, county, state or federal) has no business interfering with any business expansion because of their beliefs. If you don’t like it, don’t eat there, that is your choice, but you can’t squash someone because their views are different than yours. Shame on you.

  • Kari

    No way I will support them. This is not what our city needs.

    • Rhonda

      How does our city not need more variety and business?

  • Laura

    Can’t wait!

  • Bonnie Burns

    I miss Bennigans. It was my favorite restaurant, although, I’m from Fridley. I loved their Monte Cristo sandwiches. Very few places make Monte Cristo’s and if they do, they are not made the same way and are not as good. I convinced several friends and my family to try these sandwiches and the wind up was we would all order the same thing!! Possibly 6 or 8 ordering Monte Cristo’s!!

  • Rhonda

    So looking forward to Chick Fil A coming to our city! They have the best chicken sandwich around with pleasant staff to boot, what more could you ask for?