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Mixed feelings in Brookside neighborhood over Raising Cane's plans

Posted at 6:36 PM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 19:36:17-04

TULSA, Okla. — Fast-food chain Raising Cane's is looking to add to its Tulsa portfolio with a new location in Brookside.

A proposed plan would bring it to an empty building near East 37th Street and Peoria. Best Electric and Hardware at that location closed about two years ago and the building has remained vacant and has become a nuisance in the neighborhood.

“I’m really surprised, no one has taken up this building yet, or torn it down, and done something with it, and someone is wanting to,” Bruce Watts said. Watts lives in the neighborhood near where the restaurant would come in.

Company representatives, developers, and city leaders held a neighborhood meeting on May 24 to talk about the proposal and developers said the restaurant would include a two-lane drive-thru able to accommodate a 2.5-minute turnaround time from order to delivery. Its hours of operation would be 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.

“Everybody likes chicken, then I started thinking about it… no, but not everybody likes traffic,” Watts said.

Watts has lived in the area for nearly two years and said he loves Raising Cane's, but he is not fond of it coming to his neighborhood.

“I think it’s going to bring a lot of unwanted traffic to the area, and I think it’s also going to open the flood gates for other fast-food places to come to this area,” he said.

Some residents who attended the meeting raised concerns about the fast-food restaurant drawing in transients, and others were concerned about parking, and pedestrian safety.

“With fast food, I just think it adds another layer of, especially with all the pedestrians walking around, I think it just adds another layer of accident possibilities here,” Watts said.

Developers also discussed funding a pedestrian signal across Peoria between Trader Joe’s and the new Cane's. However, Watts said that would only add more congestion to an already busy street.

“If you add another traffic light over here, I just think it’s going to add too much traffic and a little bit too much chaos, you know, that this area probably doesn’t want,” Watts said.

“Something that suits this area, people are going to welcome that a little bit more, and I don’t think it’s fast food,” he said.

The proposal goes before the Tulsa Planning Commission on July 6. Raising Cane's would last about 150 days with the new location opening in 2023 if approved.

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