Peru Popeyes plan recommended, no timeline shared for opening

Developer confirms drive-thru, parking plans on new May Road location

FILE PHOTO: A customer takes their drive-thru food order at about 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, at the new Popeyes franchise location near Route 47 in Yorkville.

Plans for the new Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen restaurant coming to May Road in Peru were recommended during Wednesday’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

The commission approved a variance reducing the number of required parking spaces and a variance to increase the height request for a free-standing sign. Final City Council approval of the project is expected during Monday’s City Council meeting.

The developer did not provide an update on its timeline, which originally called for a late fall opening.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is a national chain restaurant, known for its fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits. The nearest locations are in Yorkville, DeKalb, Joliet, Bloomington and Peoria.

Corporate Counsel Scott Schweickert said the maximum height requirement for a free-standing sign in that zone is 65 feet, and AbyGroups requested a 100 feet, which is in line with what the new QuickTrip built.

Director of Engineering and Zoning, Eric Carls said the sign is OK to go up as long as there are no conflicts with the Illinois Valley Regional Airport.

Popeyes plans call for it to occupy 2,515 square feet with a quick-serve, drive-thru restaurant. The proposed site plan would include 20 parking spaces instead of the city’s zoning ordinance, which said no less than 26.

“Twenty stalls is sufficient,” said Jacob Cooke, civil engineer on the project. “As the majority of the post-COVID era, drive-thru is 80% of business.”

Carls said the plan would decrease the amount of “impervious area” and provide more green space.

Neither Popeyes restaurant nor the developer commented on a timeline for construction.

The Peru City Council unanimously approved the $300,000 purchase agreement in May with AbyGroups Inc. for land to build Popeyes and a possible other business at a former municipal property at 1839 and 1841 May Road.

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