Denison could soon be home to a new drive-thru restaurant-convenience store hybrid as early as February 2020. Nick Davis is looking to open a new concept restaurant and convenience store he is calling Fastway No. 1 through his business, Fastway Enterprise.
Davis received zoning change from light industrial to commercial for the property at Coffin Street and Woodlawn Boulevard from the Denison Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday. The site was previously El Pueblo, a Mexican food restaurant.
The concept will be what he called a fast-casual eating experience with a twist. There will be a tunnel on the south side of the building where cars can drive into an area with computer monitors to order items, ranging from small groceries and things like diapers to beer and soda. Then, once the items are picked up, the same customer can pull up to the north side of the building and grab their to-go food order.
“We live in a fast world,” Davis said. “I am trying to make a concept where you don't have to make multiple stops you can stop at the service station, dollar store and restaurant all in one stop.”
City Planner Bill Medina said the city's comprehensive plan has the area as mixed commercial and told the board it was the staff's recommendation to approve the request.
“It is going to be a good step to start to really affect the zoning in some of our corridors,” Medina said. “Woodlawn turns into Armstrong, a major collector road here in Denison. As some of these properties start changing their use, it is a good opportunity to get those uses into conforming status with our comprehensive plan. That is the purpose here — to get this rezoned as commercial.”
Davis said the menu will be prepared by a 30-year-old chef he hired from McKinney, and the concept will be what he called fast casual. It will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner items from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. There will be seating for around 30 people.
One catch is that there will be no alcohol on premise. He will sell alcohol through the drive-thru window, but it will not be served in the restaurant.
“I am estimating my business will be 70-percent drive thru,” Davis said. “We're looking forward to a February opening. We should be cleared to start mid December. I retired a few years ago. I'm looking forward to get back in. I will be working full time in the business. I was an owner of a company and sold that. Getting back into a store will be fun. I enjoy that.”
Davis said he has been in the convenience store business for over 30 years. The shift has been gradually to more food offerings in recent years, and based on that and the changing fast nature of consumers, he is expecting his business to catch on. He is calling his first one Fastway No. 1 with plans to open more stores if it is successful.
“The idea is you can get a head of lettuce, some diapers for the 2-year-old and a six pack of beer for dad and take home a family meal and never have to get out of your car,” he said.
What do you think of a drive-thru restaurant with a convenience store coming to Denison? Let Denison area reporter Richard A. Todd know by sending him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can also be reached by Facebook and Twitter @RichardAToddHD.