A makeover for Varsity Plaza

Tallahassee prepares for the opening of popular fast-food restaurant, Raising Cane’s. Photo courtesy: beaconjournal.com

It almost seems that there is a new development project happening in Tallahassee every time you turn around. From new hotels to improving the infrastructure of buildings to investing in numerous beautification projects around town, there is no doubt that the capital city is starting to experience a huge economic boost.

Feel free to add Varsity Plaza to the list. The West Tennessee Street Plaza is undergoing a facelift, starting with the addition of a popular Louisiana fast-food chain restaurant, Raising Cane’s. It has formally submitted plans to the City of Tallahassee to build its second location in the Sunshine State.

The restaurant plans to be located in front of the mini-Target that anchors Varsity Plaza. If the plan proceeds, the blueprint calls for a double lane drive-thru with 34 outdoor seats and 86 indoor seats. It will total more than a 3,100 square foot building. According to Leon County tax records, the plot of land was bought for $2 million by Varsity Plaza II.

A problem started to arise though, as a Tire Plus auto repair shop existed in the exact location where Raising Cane’s plans to build its restaurant. This conflict has been settled as the shop has permanently closed and will be prepared to be demolished, leaving only two locations left in Tallahassee.

NAI TALCOR, a real estate brokerage firm, says on its website that the Raising Cane’s will be part of a three-building development for the plaza. Other businesses that will be added include BurgerFi and Pho & Baguette, a Vietnamese restaurant that will be the first of its kind in Florida.

The addition of Raising Cane’s raises questions for some residents as there are already other nearby fast-food options that offer similar items on their menu. Zaxby’s, Guthries, Chubby’s Chicken Fingers & More are some of the restaurants that offer competition.

Rebecca Siverain, a health informatics major at Florida A&M, isn’t too fond of adding an additional restaurant in that crowded corridor on West Tennessee Street. She believes cuisine options should vary in Tallahassee.

“I just feel like it’s best to explore other options that’s not already here like Chinese food, but I think it’s going to be popular because it’ll be new,” Siverain said. “I just feel like it’s not going to be that big of a difference since it’s already here.”

No official word has been offered on when construction will begin for the restaurant or when it is set to open.