UNION, NJ — The Wendy’s restaurant at 2657 U.S. Highway 22 has undergone several remodels in its 30-year history, but never has it been slated for a renovation as major as the one proposed at the Union Township Planning Board meeting on Thursday, Jan. 23.
The renovation proposal, which would need between six and eight weeks to realize, includes new electrical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, as well as a new roof and new flooring.
At the Jan. 23 meeting, Kenneth Shaw, Wendy’s regional construction manager, said that the restaurant is looking for a more contemporary design and will focus more on drive-through and outdoors experiences. The new Wendy’s will feature two drive-through lanes, which will merge in front of a single pickup window.
“The whole exterior will be renovated with a new look,” said Shaw. “Our customers are really telling us they enjoy the outdoor seating, so we’re putting an outdoor patio out there to take the place of the current, existing dining room there.”
The number of interior seats will be reduced from 90 to 45, while the outdoor patio will feature four tables with 12 seats overall. The patio will include a mechanical trellis with a rain sensor, so that customers can still sit there when it rains. The area will be closed during the winter.
According to Shaw, renovation plans were based on an evaluation of 6,500 Wendy’s restaurants. His team is currently working to obtain the final resolution, after which it will file for the necessary permits.
“We are hoping for a summer start date,” said Shaw in an email.
Civil engineer Daniel Sehnal, a principal at Dynamic Engineering, said that the restaurant is surrounded by commercial and industrial sites. The site is approximately 1.2 acres in size, and the building is about 3,000 total square feet.
There are currently 58 parking spaces, two of which are handicapped-accessible spots. Since demand for parking has fallen, the renovation plans include only eight parking spots. Ten parking stalls have already been removed to make space for the proposed double-order drive-through lane, according to Shaw.
The new landscaping plan will reduce impervious surface cover, ensuring that less storm water leaves the site. It will also include 93 new plantings and a tree.
The renovation proposal calls for the installation of LED lights, which will provide a more uniform flow of light throughout the site. The 25-foot-tall building signs will be replaced by Wendy’s newer style of building signs.