After its drive-thru was approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals on Jan. 19, a proposed Chipotle restaurant was given the go-ahead by the village council on Feb. 8, when the mayor and commissioners unanimously voted in favor of the project.
The new Chipotle, located at 7201 Madison St. (the corner of Harlem Avenue and Madison Street) will have what the restaurant chain calls a “Chipotlane,” a drive-thru solely for picking up food ordered ahead of time through the company’s app. It will also have an indoor dining-room like traditional Chipotle locations.
During the meeting, Director of Public Health and Safety Steve Glinke expressed his full support for the project.
“I have to say it’s very rare when I say, ‘This one’s a no brainer,’” Glinke said. “But this one’s a great project.” He acknowledged there had been a lot of back-and-forth on the location over the years, but staff has vetted the project, which, he said, “receives our unqualified support and recommendation.”
The new site will include a landscape plan and a “Welcome to Forest Park” sign.
Commissioners asked how much say the village would have in how that sign looks and whether it would have a similar appearance to other signs in town, like the one on Roosevelt Road.
“I think we have some wiggle room on that,” Glinke said. Having a similar appearance, he added, “is in the interest of general maintenance and consistency for our branding. That will be brought to the table.”
Another question was whether there would be signage preventing drivers exiting Chipotle onto Harlem from turning north.
Glinke said that traffic signage is ultimately the responsibility of third-party approval from the Illinois Department of Transportation. But he added: “As a very loyal patron of Parky’s [the restaurant to the north of the Chipotle site], if you’re going to try to turn left from that alley [onto Harlem Avenue], you’re only going to do it once. You’ll be lucky if you get across.”