Bean Box coming to Utica? Planning Commission gives OK

Final vote now up to Village Board

Chris Duffy (standing) explains to members of the Utica Planning Commission on Thursday, March 23, 2023, his plans to bring the Bean Box to Utica. The freestanding coffee parlor, which has locations in La Salle and Spring Valley, would have another location across from the Utica police station.

The Bean Box might open a new location, this one in Utica.

On Thursday, the Utica Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of petitions by Chris and Ann Duffy, who want to place an airstream-style trailer across from the village police department for a driveup and walkup coffee service.

A binding vote is pending before the Utica Village Board.

Chris Duffy said the effort is a partnership with the owner of the Bean Box, which operates coffee stands in La Salle and Spring Valley, with similar products offered.

“Ideally, we’d like to have it open all year,” Chris Duffy told the Planning Commission.

He said that the business will include some pre-packaged snacks – there will be no food preparation on-site – and customers typically will be in and out within two minutes.

Planning commissioners generally endorsed the plans, although Bill Zens said there would have to be dedicated parking spaces to avoid traffic backup onto Route 178. The operators also must properly dispose of wastewater.

Separately, James and Sabrina Didricksen withdrew their petition for the rezoning of their property at 302 W. Lincoln St.

James Didricksen said he might revisit his plans for a bicycle rental business, including food service, after commissioners discussed multiple concerns about traffic flow, infrastructure and fire safety.