Plans for Bob Evans Still on the Table in Lakewood

Officials from the restaurant presented a preliminary proposal, however city officials had some suggestions to change the restaurant’s “traditional” look. Revised plans are expected soon.

The plans for a new, 4,200-square-foot Bob Evans restaurant on Detroit Avenue are still in the works.

But the national restaurant chain — per the city’s architectural board of review — is still crafting its new style for its location at the corner of Detroit Avenue and Park Haven Row.

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 — including the roofline.

“I think they are taking the board’s directions, and making some minor modifications,” said Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development. “It’s not going to be substantially different — just about 10 percent of the final details need adjusted.”

The restaurant’s architects are expected to present new plans soon.

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

Neighbors recently told Lakewood Patch that the property was on the market for $1 million.      
Eric Majkut June 03, 2013 at 03:25 AM
This will work out about as well as IHOP did. Who wants Bob Evans' overpriced chain restaurant crap when you can go to one of the bajillion awesome places that serve breakfast around Lakewood? The Place to Be, The Coffee Pot and George's (even though it's not technically in Lakewood) all come to mind as places that are tastier, cheaper and run by local residents instead of a big corporation. Bob Evans clearly isn't researching their potential customers very well.
Kristen Bindel June 03, 2013 at 08:23 AM
Eric, I do agree that there are plenty of great places that seve breakfast in Lakewood, and I frequent those places. Bob Evans is an Ohio based company that started in Southeastern Ohio and the farm is still being run today. I think that's a great example of starting with a little, and ending with a lot. I think Bob Evan's probably did a thorough job researching the area and saw a possibility here. There is no reason that Bob Evans and the other great restaurants here can't co-exsist. I'm looking forward to seeing that land being put to good use, and for us to be good and welcoming neighbors.
ian king June 03, 2013 at 08:47 AM
Eric, when was the last time you were in a Bob Evans? They offer, just like many of the retro/out of date Ma and Pa dives around town a lot of beef and potato products. HOWEVER, they offer an outstanding lunch for only $ 6.99 - all you can eat of a very healthy and excellent salad, as well as a bowl of soup = ALL YOU CAN EAT! Eric, where can you find that in any of the Ma and Pa places in Lakewood? AND they offer a senior discount menu also = great for the thousands of seniors who live in Lakewood on fixed incomes. You can eat very healthy here if you want to. And btw, so many of Lakewood's Ma and Pa places could use a health inspector! I have been to most and they have dirty kitchens, retro bathrooms that need desanitizing, and uncomfortable seating, sticky tabletops, and lets not even mention the greasy spoon food! Bob Evans will be clean, up to code, comfortable seating, and of course, fresh food. They have very high corporate standards, and being new of course, won't be retro or need desanitizing.
ian king June 03, 2013 at 08:50 AM
Oh forgot to add Eric, everytime I have been to a Bob Evans, the lines are long and there is often a wait. I think they must be doing something right! And of course, a few of the restaurants you mentioned are not very clean, have very greasy kitchens, and lets not even talk about the bathrooms or the smell in the air!
ian king June 03, 2013 at 08:56 AM
And Mr. Siley, the so called taste makers/dictators of Lakewood - the architectural review group - need to take a lesson or two on the business side of marketing. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the design Bob Evans presented. Lakewood's business districts can hardly be considered congruent or well thought out when compared to many cities. It is a joke for a bunch of wanna be taste makers to highlight the roofline or the use of the color red. Do they think the Quaker State Signage is nicer than Bob Evan's? Do they think the use of the color red in the new Drug Mart is a better red? And what about the use of red out front of the new Eddie & Eddie - seems a bit "bright" to me! I hope city officials take a stand and do everything they can to get Bob Evans to invest in this losing population inner-city town. Or I guess, more Value Worlds, Dollar stores, and continued empty storefronts will come to define the "architectural significance of Lakewood!"
ian king June 03, 2013 at 09:15 AM
And final thoughts to our clueless design dictators of Lakewood - 1. Food and agriculture is Ohio’s top industry, contributing $93.8 billion to Ohio’s economy with actual farm gate receipts of $7.2 billion. There are 75,700 farms in the state with the average farm size being 188 acres. Ohio has a total of 14.3 million acres of land in farms. Bob Evans is a corporation with its roots and mission still very much focused in the world of agriculture, and thus supports Ohio's economy. 2. Regarding the objections to the color Red used by Bob Evans: As everyone must know who lives in the Midwest, the color red is a common sight on barns throughout this region. Farmers call it "Barn Red". The use of red on barns dates back centuries. There are many reds used on barns that vary from bright red, to deep red, to burnt red. Bob Evans is spot on in incorporating the color red to pay homage to this usage by farmers. Perhaps Lakewood's clueless architectural board will take a business class and try to understand how corporate logos visually present a company's mission/product. To ask Bob Evans to modify its use of the color red or its roofline reference to its farm origins, is an embarrassment for Lakewood, and illustrates how clueless our city officials really are.
Bob Morrison June 03, 2013 at 12:40 PM
About IHOP vs.Bob Evans, I moved here from California many years ago. IHOP was my place to go for Sunday brunch in Calif. When I moved to Ohio I discovered Bob Evans and was happy with their breakfast choices. I was excited to see IHOP when it came to Lakewood, a taste of home for me. I went and ordered my IHOP favorite and was sadly underwhelmed. Either my memory had made it better or IHOP's standards had been lowered since my move to Ohio. I only went that one time. Bob Evans won. I would like to see Bob Evans in Lakewood. I hope they do well. And I will eat at other places around Lakewood too, for the variety!
ian king June 03, 2013 at 03:25 PM
Hi Bob - I also moved here from wonderful California! IHOP was/is great in CA, but not the best here I agree. Lots all call city hall and demand they do whatever it takes to get Bob Evans in Lakewood. We need the variety and we need the tax dollars. Also, be sure to check out the cleanliness of Lakewood' Ma and Pa eateries. Many are below par. I wish we had the report card system that exists in CA, where restaurants are graded and the result have to posted in the window or somewhere in the restaurant where the public can see it. It was amazing to find well known restaurants cited for dirty kitchens or bathrooms. I doubt if hardly any Ma and Pa diners in Lakewood would pass the tough CA health code inspections. So beware, this is not CA!
Nick June 03, 2013 at 05:50 PM
I would be happy for the restaurant to open. I prefer the smaller mom and pop places, but as Ian stated some of the local eateries while inexpensive and convenience, I do agree that more time should be updating the restaurants quality of the establishment. I like to go to the Place to Be, but it is dirty looking and run down...so I find myself going to McDonalds or Dunkin Donuts on the weekend.
ncoast June 03, 2013 at 08:34 PM
Ian sure luvs BE & or owns stock...such passion! Overstating & harsh subjective opinion are common on the PATCH, but Eric is way over-the-top. I, myself, love variety & competition & people who care about earning my business. I think the bad Lakewood IHOP wasnt typical, but the stuff theyll dump on top of a good breakfast..WOW! Still dont understand Lakewoods problem with design? this building is east of the core business district, and 2 of the 3 buildings west of where BE would be already have gabled fronts (PNC Bank & Hixsons), talk about consistency! This style, obviously, is BEs way of reducing costs (construction & upkeep). Its nothing like the "traditional" BE Ive come to know. One last thought..Ian, please save us some food!
ncoast June 03, 2013 at 08:44 PM
Kristen..BE did a comprehensive study of Lakewood..population (trends)..street traffic..demographics..competition..on & on..BIG $
ian king June 04, 2013 at 12:24 AM
Hi Nick - totally agree. I actually left The Place to Be after I saw the dirty kitchen and the kinda unkempt guy cooking - ugh! Another favorite I use to go to was The Lake House Cafe on Edgewater - till I got sick after eating there a year ago! This should be the hippest place on the west side = unbeatable location, great building it is in, and free parking lot! Instead, it has a rundown feel to it (for instance floor fans being used to circulate air when it is hot), deco that misses the mark completely meaning they tried to do a retro design thing, but it just fails miserable, and a menu that is mainly unhealthy. Plus you get the "joy" of hearing the owners yeh not too nicely to the overworked staff! This could be such a great place, why not?
Cherie Simpson June 04, 2013 at 02:50 PM
Lakewood's Architectural Board of Review has problems with the use of the color red and the roof line of a proposed new Bob Evans location in our city? Really???? Are you KIDDING me?? I would love to know what standards they are using cause they certainly couldn't have anything to do with the preexisting standards of the establishments already doing business all over our city!! I would be VERY HAPPY to see a new restaurant at the proposed location. Who knows, maybe the trend will continue east down Detroit Avenue, toward the eastern end of Lakewood...the part of Lakewood the "powers that be" have all but forgotten. The new Dunkin Doughnuts, Drug Mart and the soon to be Dollar General are welcomed additions to our end of Lakewood. Regarding the proposed Bob Evans site, I've often wondered why the building is still empty. Seems to me the City of Lakewood is not doing THEIR JOB of marketing possible new business locations, whether they own them or not. They need to doing everything they can to attract viable business to our city, not to DISCOURAGE it. If the petty attitude of the Architectural Board of Review continues, that's exactly what will happen.
ian king June 04, 2013 at 04:37 PM
Cherie - RIGHT ON! Great comments! Lets all call city hall and leave a message for our Mayor that he needs to start encouraging any and all business development in Lakewood. This city is losing population and many parts are in obvious decline. When a business desires to SPEND MONEY to open here - estimates are over $ 1,000,000 for the land and actual Bob Evans restaurant being built - why is this city not THANKING YOU any legal way they can? It boggles the mind that less than a couple so-called taste makers can delay or potentially stop business development in this town over the use of certain colors!! if it wasn't really the truth, someone would think we were living in a surreal movie!
CMW June 05, 2013 at 02:40 PM
no thanks to any chain restaurants, they can stay in North Olmsted!
ian king June 05, 2013 at 02:51 PM
hi cmw - i suppose starbucks should stay in north olmsted too? caribou cafe/peets? pleease what an outdated concept of how the world is today. there is nothing wrong with chain restaurants as long as they are well managed, maintain high quality standards and offer good healthy food at affordable prices. Bob Evans does that very nicely thank you. So does Pei Wei, PF Chang, Outback Steakhouse, etc. these are all chains that you can eat healthy in if you want to. They are clean and provide excellent customer service. Something that I can vouch for does not always exist in the Ma and Pa restaurants in Lakewood. In fact, I have gotten sick more in those places than any Bob Evans, Pei Wei or PF Chang I have eaten in.
Amanda Ferry June 09, 2013 at 11:40 AM
This is great for the many senior citizens that populate this area. Since the closing of the Highland Restaurant and then Two Dad's, there is really no where within walking distance for the older folks to go.
ian king June 09, 2013 at 12:21 PM
Hi Amanda, you are spot on! Bob Evans has a very affordable senior menu selection of healthy items and also, every day, offers lunch of all you can eat soup and salad for only $ 6.99 = cheaper than junk food McDonalds or Burger King! PLEEASE call the office of our Mayor and demand that the city continue to negotiage with Bob Evans Corporate Office to get them to build here in Lakewood. So far, they are not signing on the dotted line and the recent uproar/delay/roadblock caused by Lakewood's so called architectural review uppity design police (all about those self-appointed Lakewood chiefs of style and design folks not liking the slant of the restaurant's roofline and their use of the color red = say what?!!) seems to have definitely slowed Bob Evans in their development tracks. We citizens of Lakewood need to get this project back on track and demand our lackluster city hall officials get out there and get Bob Evans restaurant in this town. Our city officials sure know how to get the press out and how to raise our school taxes - how about getting out there Mayor and City Council and get a real business putting tax dollars into this city a welcome sign! So, everyone, PLEEASE call city hall tomorrow and DEMAND this city does what it needs to do to get this restaurant built and ASAP!!!!
Amanda Ferry June 09, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Thanks for info Ian. Will do!
CMW June 18, 2013 at 12:47 PM
Ian, actually, yes, Starbucks can stay in N.O. since they do nothing more than serve greatly overpriced, crappy coffee/beverages. And I would strongly suggest that you look over those menus again, they are not nearly as "healthy" as you seem to believe. For example B Evans fruit & yogurt plate, something most people would think is healthy right? Wrong! 348 Calories, 18g of fat and and a whopping 68g of sugar!! And don't even get me started on the level of sodium in most of their dishes, something that those with high blood pressure need to be conscious of, but probably don't even think about that when going out to eat.
ian king June 18, 2013 at 06:15 PM
hi cmw, strange comment! don't you know that liek 90% of all restaurant menus are mainly full of food prepared with lots of salt, lots of sugar, and lots of butter? i mean even wolfgang puck says if you go out to eat, you don't go out to count calories that night! places like BE are just like every other restaurant with their use of salt, sugar, and butter - that is why everything tastes so much better in restaurants than in your own home. the difference, and it is a big one, is that i can a fresh salad (no dressing or on the side), a baked potato ( no butter or on the side), steamed broccoli, whole wheat toast ( no butter or on the side), and grilled chicken or fish. and have ice tea or water to drink. and all this is about as healthy as one can eat in a restaurant, and it will be very very affordable. in fact i can order at BE a $ 6.99 all i can eat of salad every day at lunch! i can't make it at home for that. so cmw, you are wrong about BE not offering healthy food options - they do everyday of the year!
ian king June 18, 2013 at 06:23 PM
Hi CMW, i am amazed that you don't already know that most restaurants use lots of salt, sugar and butter in all their menu options. that is why restaurant food tastes so much better than your own cooking - it is full of salt, sugar and butter! even wolfgang puck says when you go out to eat, don't count calories! what is wonderful about BE is the OPTION to eat healthy: i can order a fresh salad, a baked potato, broccoli, grilled chicken or salmon, whole wheat bread, ice tea, and eat very healthy and very affordable to. and at breakfast, just order a side of cereal, oatmeal, or 2 eggs and whole wheat toast, and oj, and another healthy meal at BE. it is all about having a restaurant in town that offers healthy options and BE certainly does. all you have to do is think about what you are going to eat, and you will eat very healthy at BE.
CMW July 24, 2013 at 09:31 AM
Ian, while I can't speak for your cooking, I can tell you that mine outshines BE, without having to use tons on salt, sugar and/or butter. And Wolfgang Puck is some sort of authority on eating healthy?! Not to mention that there is a big difference in going out to eat once in a while vs people that frequent these places several times a week.
ian king July 25, 2013 at 08:40 PM
hi cmw - a single person cannot afford to make the all you can eat salad at home that BE offers at lunch for $ 6.99. and also your choice of soup = all you can eat of both for $ 6.99 it is just not possible to beat that price as a single person with a can of crampy soup selling for over $ 3.00 and buying lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, etc. and salad dressing will easily be over $ 4.00+ that alone will keep BE a healthy choice for me, as there is no salt or sugar or butter in lettuce, i can order fat free dressing, and at least one of their soups has lower salt than campbells. as i said repeatedly, it is all about OPTIONS on the menu, and one can eat very healthy and cheaply on a daily basis at BE.
CMW August 07, 2013 at 08:47 AM
News Flash Ian, most "fat-free" dressings are loaded with sugar and salt! Here's an idea, make your own soup, far healthier and will provide several meals.
Hol September 03, 2013 at 09:24 AM
What's the latest word on this development? I saw a brick Bob Evan's on Brookpark Road and thought that design would totally fit with the Lakewood look, vibe, feel. The picture above is just ugly and, in my opinion, does not feel at all like Lakewood!


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