1st choice for Raising Cane’s Beavercreek restaurant in peril

Developer says deal not dead; City’s planning director says he’ll work with chicken chain to find another site

The initial site selected for a new Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers restaurant in Beavercreek has fallen through after more than a year, according to a city official who is still hoping to find another suitable location for the restaurant chain.

However, the project’s developer, Michael D. Lofino Jr., said today, Jan. 17, that the existing site’s project is not dead. “I intend to continue working on on delivering the site to (Raising) Cane's and am confident that a solution will be achieved,” Lofino said.

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Through an LLC, Lofino has filed a breach-of-contract civil lawsuit against his father and business partner, Michael D. Lofino Sr., in an attempt to clear the way for the deal to go through. The matter is pending in Greene County Common Pleas Court.

Raising Cane’s submitted plans to the city of Beavercreek in November 2016 that called for a 3,576-square-foot restaurant to be built on a vacant tract adjacent to a Speedway on Kemp Road just east of North Fairfield Road. Those preliminary plans were approved by Beavercreek City Council. In February 2017, a spokeswoman for the Raising Cane’s Dayton-area franchise owners suggested the Beavercreek location could open as early as May 2017. But the project stalled, and ground was never broken for the project.

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Jeffrey M. McGrath, planning and development director for the city of Beavercreek, said the Kemp Road location “is dead as far as I am concerned. I look forward to working with Raising Cane’s to help them find another site in Beavercreek. We are actively working on that.”

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The Beavercreek project stalled primarily because the design details of an access street to the restaurant could not be worked out with the owners of the affected properties, McGrath said in August 2017. The proposed street would have had access points at both Kemp Road and North Fairfield Road, according to Beavercreek city records.

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Multiple messages left over the past week for Andria Morgan, spokeswoman for Raising Cane’s local franchisee RCO Limited, were not returned.

RCO Limited went on to open its first Dayton-area location in late June 2017 on Ohio 725 in Washington Twp. Morgan has said RCO Limited’s plans call for adding more Dayton-area locations.

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Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers operates multiple restaurants in the Columbus and Cincinnati areas, and opened a restaurant in Fairfield in October 2016.

Morgan has said RCO Limited has found a very loyal customer base as it has opened stores in Ohio. In 2004, the franchisee opened the first Raising Cane’s outside of Louisiana when it launched its first Ohio location in Columbus.

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The chain prides itself on a limited menu and a simple concept, focused on chicken fingers, made “fresh, never frozen,” marinated for 24 hours, then hand-battered and cooked to order. Also featured on the menu are crinkle-cut fries, cole slaw, Texas Toast and sauces that are made in-house every day.

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The chicken-restaurant market is becoming intensely competitive in the Dayton area, which has added more than a dozen new restaurants from national chains, regional start-ups and local, independent operators in the last three years.

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