Thursday, March 30, 2023

Dunkin’ Gains Approval for Drive-Thru at New Location off University Avenue but Plan Needs More Work

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor

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The Dunkin’ planned for Oxford off University Avenue moved another step closer to opening when the owners received a nod of approval from the Oxford Planning Commission on Monday night for a special exception to have a drive-thru at the new restaurant.

The future Dunkin’ will be located in the University Shopping Center that borders Bramlett Boulevard and University Avenue.

That area is zoned Traditional Neighborhood Business district. A restaurant with drive-in or drive-thru service requires a special exception and it must have sufficient stacking space to prevent backups onto access roads.

The applicant is proposing to convert the existing (former) UPS store, which had a drive-thru window, into a restaurant with a drive-thru.

The request for the special exception notes that a security or police officer will prevent cars from queuing onto University Avenue. The restaurant will also use a tablet ordering system, similar to Chick-Fil-A, which will allow employees to take orders while cars are in the queue.

Dunkin’ representatives also said Monday that they anticipate utilizing pull forward parking stalls for large orders.

Several Commissioners expressed concerns about cars being backed up on University Avenue, despite reassurances from the franchise owners that they will monitor traffic and turn customers away if vehicles begin to back up on University.

The commission approved the request for the special exception; however, they directed the owners to continue to work with city staff to provide a queuing area that puts cars in the shopping center parking lot, rather than onto University Avenue.

Dunkin’ announced its plans to build in Oxford in late 2021.