Bob Evans Presents Proposal to City Officials

Officials from the Bob Evans presented preliminary plans for the restaurant chain’s proposed location at the corner of Detroit Avenue and Park Haven Row.

A new, 4,200-square-foot Bob Evans restaurant could be coming to Detroit Avenue.

Officials from the restaurant presented some preliminary plans to the city’s architectural board of review on Thursday. 

Situated across Park Haven Row from the new GetGo gas station, the restaurant would have one vehicle entrance on that street and another on Detroit Avenue, according to the architect's drawings. 

As part of Bob Evans’ new design “concept,” it wouldn’t look the traditional restaurant. It would be built up to the sidewalk with around 75 parking spaces in the rear.

However, there are still a few hurdles before construction gets started.

City officials aren’t quite comfortable with some of the aspects of the traditional Bob Evans design.

“I am not wild about the roofline,” said board member Carl Orban. “This screams Bob Evans. We’d like to tone that down a little. We want it to scream Lakewood.”

Other board members shared some similar opinions. 

“This is a little country-mouse, a little city mouse,” said board chairman Michael Molinski. “It looks nice, but how it fits in here is a bit of a challenge. The branding screams when you see all that red.”

“I don’t know how many inner-ring suburbs you go to, but you’ve got to be flexible,” he added. 

Andrew Hubbard, the director of design for the restaurant, said that the company won’t likely budge too much on design changes.

“We are a brand that has a farm image,” he said. “This has to have some identity because you’ve got get people attracted to the brand.”

“We will take it back to the team to see if there’s some way we can modify (the plans),” added Hubbard.

The .9-acre property next to the new GetGo gas station on Detroit Avenue been vacant for years.

Neighbors have told Lakewood Patch the property is on the market for just under $1 million.

Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development, said that restaurant was presenting “a concept of their new brand of architecture” to the board.

“That brand is still evolving,” he said. “They had a productive discussion but they still have a lot of work to do before they build a project in Lakewood.”

ian king March 09, 2013 at 10:57 PM
HI Angelo, GREAT COMMENTS! The inability for Lakewood, along with a lot of NE Ohio to accept the reality that the good times/ along with a lot our population has moved on and moved out of the area boggles the mind. The misguided idea that Lakewood has a look that has to be preserved is laughable at best! I guess these folks haven't been to Santa Fe, Santa Barbara, Williamsburg, etc. where there is a well defined sense of architecture and space. To complain about colors and rooflines in a city that is moving day by day to economic fall out is ridiculous! Folks, get a clue - Lakewood and most of NE Ohio is not on an economic gravy train. We should be ever so thank that Bob Evans, an Ohio based business, wants to build from scratch a restaurant here. That means jobs and tax dollars, but again, when city officials and representatives still take elitist positions - clueless to the economic and population declines this city is experiencing on a daily basis - well, I guess the rest of us will have to continue to open our checkbooks to pay for schools, etc. Cause if Bob Evans decides NOT to build here over these insulting restrictions/suggestions, well the word will be out for all businesses - AVOID Lakewood and its out of touch city officials at all costs. It is just not worth the effort. Move onto Westlake and Westgate.
dougmoore March 10, 2013 at 03:33 AM
Ian..why are you here..such a well travelled man? Life is about potential..theres too much small-minded bitching & complaining. What did you do..fall off a turnip truck, here in pathetic Ohio, as you were travelling between swell places? I was talking about building not dreaming..not that dreaming is bad..dreams are pictures & great minds see visions that hard work can turn into reality while others stand around whining & complaining! Ian, you & I agree on many things..the sad thing is youre the poster-boy for, "its not what you say, but how you say it!" It mustve been a hell of a bump after you fell off that truck!
ian king March 10, 2013 at 04:04 AM
Hi Dougmoore - thanks for the "comment". As gotta love the small minded folks who go for the personal attack, rather than respond to what one actually writes/communicates. So Doug, glad to hear you like turnips! Though they are out of season aren't they? Kinda like a lot of thinking that is now happening in Lakewood/NE Ohio - a bit out of season. Change creates pain, and most want to avoid pain. Lets hope real change does happen in NE Ohio and soon. Too bad Ed Fitzgerald isn't facilitating what really needs to happen here ASAP - like why does every declining population town have its own Fire Dept, its own EMS, its own Police, etc.? Why are schools not being integrated into districts? etc etc. This kind of change has to happen here - or bring in hundreds of new businesses to support a lifestyle that can't be sustained anymore. Change, Doug, doesn't come from just talking about visions, but making the tough decisions that will be unpopular for survival 10 years from now. Getting personal when you disagree with someone, is well, just so retro, Rust Belt, Joe the Plumber! Observe what is now happening in Strongsville with the teacher's strike and you can see how difficult and painful change is in an area/state that is mostly on a downhill economic decline. Not pretty. So Doug, I am curious - what are you the poster boy (man?) for?
dougmoore March 10, 2013 at 04:32 AM
Ian..Im sorry I missed your Friday, 9:27pm post..WOW! I stated national..regional & local businesses should be welcome in Lakewood..then let the COMPETITION begin! Why did these (why do) businesses fail..maybe because they deserve to..in the past Ive sited two businesses IHOP (national) & Two Dads (local) I wanted them to succeed..in my opinion they didnt merrit it. Ian, you need to do your homework..56 is supposed to reopen..as is Sweetwater..hopefully better than ever..well decide! Shame on you, Lakewoodites, for by-passing businesses..didnt you get the memo.."because theyll local you MUST patronize them!" Or, should any business have to earn your patronage? Look at JAMMYS..how many concepts have they tried? Doug says, "what perserverence!"..Ian would probably say, dumb bastards, cant they figure-out that Lakewood/Ohio are dead & the difference between the eastside & westside? (?)
Michael Rice March 10, 2013 at 04:41 AM
I was going to post my own comment, but Ian and others would probably tell me my opinion is wrong or outdated. It's too bad residents cannot comment on an article without being attacked personally because they have a different opinion. I'd like to know your real names and where each you got your Urban Planning degrees.
dougmoore March 10, 2013 at 04:59 AM
Ian..its simple..your comments are so silly.."no one you know..."...Ohios national rep is BIBLE BELT CRAZIES..where you you get these abdolute facts? People are now fleeing Calfornia in large numbers (notice I didnt say everybody)..I know many people who have relocated back to Ohio (maybe youre one)..the grass wasnt as green...! One day I may return to Pennsylvania (free country)! Sorry my humor bruised you..Im the dynamic BIG thinker..everything is possible..we prove it everyday & dont bitch when it doesnt happen in an instant! Youre a critic..I support that..Ill respond..even when youre silly...! Oh, & I do love turnips!
dougmoore March 10, 2013 at 05:05 AM
My real name is Brian...Brian, read the sbstance of the posts & dont be shy.
Halley Simpson March 10, 2013 at 05:23 AM
Ian, if you think that Bob Evans "fresh" salad and soup are healthy, you need to educate yourself. I agree that lots of places offer fried food and cheesy whatnot, but at least they are providing higher grade products. It's about the source of the food, not just what the ingredients are. As for your opinions - I personally like Helvetica's decor (it's original and artistic, not cookie cutter) and Taco Tanto's isn't dirty. They serve good food at good prices with friendly service. As for "healthy" options at Bob Evans- you cannot eat a healthy meal when the food is full of pesticides and bacteria. So yes, it's affordable; but no, it's not healthy. Not to mention they pay practically nothing, and once again, it supports corporate/factory farming. The demand for the "food" that these places offer has a detrimental effect on the health of the world. Rather than being so condescending and wasting your precious time replying to all of these comments, perhaps you should educate yourself on the more basic consequences of allowing these businesses to continue running. These restaurants are keeping Monsanto, Dupont, etc. and factory farming alive, and it's time for them to clean up their act, if not die for good. Stop thinking with your wallet and consider life and humanity for a moment.
m.z.1 March 10, 2013 at 06:22 PM
This is a crazy comment thread. I am asking anyone who is willing to please explain in one sentence (if you are able) why you as a Lakewood resident do not want Bob Even's to locate it's business on an empty lot on Detroit near Bunts?
Halley Simpson March 10, 2013 at 06:35 PM
Read above.
rassie galaty March 10, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Ian, Lakewood is experiencing a lot of new restaurants. And, many have a happy hour where you can get food/drinks half price... I am just tired of "another hamburger joint"
Renee March 10, 2013 at 07:37 PM
I am not opposed to Bob Evans. My concerns are the lighting and operating hours. I only wish another business like that would have chosen to take over where the Get Go is. I was very against the Get Go because of its size and the fact that it is a gas station. No one at the City cared. And now they want to be open 24 hours! Another lie told by the City. My experience has been that it doesn't matter what residents or neighbors want so what is the point of expressing such intense comments? The city will do what it wants -- period. They encourage dialogue and hold open meetings just to cover themselves legally. It is interesting, though, the City comment "this is a little country-mouse, a little city mouse" was not applicable to Get Go. Very hypocritical in my view. I hope Bob Evans does open because I fear what may go there if it doesn't. I do support local first, however. I no longer shop at Giant Eagle and I buy my gas at Lucas; shop at Nature's Bin and buy my meat at TJ Bucher's block. I would have an occasional meal at Bob Evans. Senior Citizens love Bob Evans and I think it would be well received in the location because of its nearness to the Assisted Living facilities.
Bob Morrison March 10, 2013 at 09:05 PM
I would love to see Bob Evans in Lakewood. My husband and I usually go to either the one in Westlake or by Great Northern when we want to eat brunch there. It would be nice to have one close enough to walk to. From the drawing posted I don't think the roof line is much different then the Caribou coffee house and the bank next to it has. I agree with many others that much of east Lakewood is looking very run down (like most of Madison Avenue). As for the healthy food issue, well Taco Bell, McDonald's, KFC and Burger King are already here. If you say Bob Evans is unhealthy, don't eat there. That is your choice. There are many more areas in Lakewood that could use the city’s architectural board's attention. Many store fronts on Madison could use their design help. If Bob Evans wants to invest in Lakewood, the board should be more than happy about it. Many of the other big companies that have built here in Lakewood 'scream' their corporate images; Dunkin' Donuts, McDonalds and Taco Bell to name just a few. Just my humble opinion.
m.z.1 March 10, 2013 at 10:07 PM
@ Halley - I missed it did some one give a one sentence answer? I read the thread I didn't see one comment that was really concrete or concise. Point it out. Please. Seems to me this is much to do about nothing- a big yawn if you will. I welcome Bob's and any other businesses that wish to roll their dice in Lakewood.
ian king March 10, 2013 at 10:28 PM
Hi Pico, not a humble opinion at yet, but one that is rational and mindful of the decline of Lakewood in so many areas of the city. Again, there is not a "look" to the business district of Lakewood at all, and to pretend that there is, is just elitism of a few city officials. If the Mayor and City Council don't do everything in their powers to help launch Bob Evans in this town, with its tax revenue and job creation, we as the over-taxed folks of Lakewood really need to put some new officials in charge of the future of this city. Lets hope rational and business smart heads prevail!
Barbara Greene March 11, 2013 at 12:29 AM
The city doesn't seem to have problems with any drugstore or gas station design. I would welcome a family-friendly restaurant, something other than the hyper-trendy, youth-oriented places filling Lakewood. And it's an empty lot; something is better than nothing. But again, what does it matter what the citizens want?
Martin March 11, 2013 at 12:50 AM
It would be nice to see more businesses in lakewood. I don't know if bob Evans would be the right answer. They do get thei food from Springfield, OH, which makes their food local. Now, what we need to think is that bob Evans, just as ihop is, is a weekend business. They need that revenue and the reason why ihop didn't stay is because parking is really hard in lakewood. It would be a shame to have another building vacant in a couple of years just as it happened with ihop or five guys. Just like somebkther people pointed out, being small and local won't guarantee any success either. West 56 is not reopening and two dads and a diner won't either. It is time to think outside the box and think about parking solutions that would make walking around lakewood easier and more family friendly. Not every new business must be a bar or a hair saloon. Perhaps hire a good urbanist with a long term plan? Let's not turn this into a medium for personal attacks but rather a place to exchange ideas. We do need better paying jobs and also a plan to improve the city.
Shelley March 11, 2013 at 03:26 AM
ian aren't you the business owner who wont tell what business you own and wont say whether or not you live in Lakewood or not but always clogs up the comments for people who DO live in Lakewood and don't mind saying where we own a home here? Windbag.
ian king March 11, 2013 at 03:36 AM
Hi Shelley, OUCH! Lets not get tooooo personal attacking here. How about responding to some of my ideas/suggestions/valid criticisms about state of the art life in Lakewood/NE Ohio in 2013, rather than engage in a 1950s "RUST BELT" McCarthy Accusation/Witch Hunt approach to public discourse. Send me your address and I'll gladly send you my many Lakewood real estate tax bills, along with my income tax bills from Lakewood. Would that prove acceptable citizenship for you? Or maybe the Inquisition is more your style - we are electing a new Pope you now. LOL
ian king March 11, 2013 at 03:38 AM
Hi Shelley, Is it windy where you live in Lakewood? Its not too windy on Lake Erie tonight at all - very calm and tranquil.
j p morgan March 11, 2013 at 04:40 AM
ok. redo :) not really wild about another popular chain heading into lakewood. and um. could the city take out the traffic light at mc'ds, and readjust the one on mckinley and hilliard to favor the mc K side? more traffic on that street. and for pete's sake, allow people to turn on red exiting to mckinley from 90 east. traffic would flow more steadily. gracias.
m.z.1 March 11, 2013 at 01:23 PM
Lol. Ian - they are at least listening. Even if it comes with petty put downs, it's a start. :)
ian king March 11, 2013 at 08:18 PM
Agree! Gotta luv the LAKEWOOD PATCH! It is far more interesting/stimulating than the other press outlet = LAKEWOOD OBSERVER ---- and a lot more fun and at times, off the wall too!
RJohnson March 11, 2013 at 08:18 PM
Very interesting "opinions" that kept me laughing thru out the entire 8 hr work day. I hope Bob Evans comes to Lakewood, rooftop polka dots, rust belts, and all. Hopefully it will be 24 hrs, AND serve beer! I think it would be better than driving to weslake or greatnorthern row...
ian king March 11, 2013 at 08:27 PM
Agree! Gotta luv the LAKEWOOD PATCH --- it is our city's version of the Speakers' Corner, Hyde Park, London! - where everyone/anyone has a public platform. In the land of such polar opposites as Joe the Plumber and Dennis Kucinich - there is one thing NE Ohio/Lakewood is not lacking in = OPINIONS!
H.M. Welsch March 11, 2013 at 09:55 PM
Ian, I am very curious after reading your comments on several different articles on this site: WHY did you move to Lakewood from the SF Area? You seem to dislike it and be very down about it.
ian king March 11, 2013 at 10:13 PM
To H.M.Welsch - well it is obvious isn't it == THE WEATHER!
Linda March 12, 2013 at 07:00 PM
It would be great to have a Bob Evans in Lakewood. People from out of town would frequent Bob's, and other businesses too. It would be good for the city.
ian king May 05, 2013 at 10:00 PM
HEY LAKEWOOD PATCH - any updates on whether Bob Evans is coming to town? Maybe LAKEWOOD PATCH could do a followup on stories that are still unresolved, such as this one about Bob Evans Restaurant. Maybe allow 4 weeks or so to pass, then give your readers a what's happening now with the particular subject/topic, etc. I know I would be thanksful! Thanks!
The original Bill May 05, 2013 at 10:26 PM
There was some construction going on there a couple of weeks ago. There was some sort of a pipeline and box (maybe a gas meter?) in the middle of the lot which they cleared and leveled. It would be nice to know how this project is progressing. I'll be there on opening day for breakfast.


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