The South Claiborne fast-food corridor seems poised to get yet another entry, as Krystal is planning to open a burger restaurant in the old Kentucky Fried Chicken store near Washington Avenue.
The project technically requires City Council approval to reopen as a fast-food restaurant on South Claiborne, but that request sailed through the City Planning Commission at a meeting on Tuesday. Krystal can use the structure of the old KFC building (which has been closed for several years), but they will renovate it with Krystal decor, said Bert Turner of Mouton Long Turner Architects. Once all the city approvals are in hand, the project will likely take about two months to prepare and another 70 days of renovations, he said.
“They would like to have it open in the fall,” Turner said.
The only other Krystal in the city is on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, which Turner noted is operated by a franchisee, not directly by the Krystal corporation as the South Claiborne location will be. The company recently completed a location on Barataria Boulevard in Marrero, and the only other location nearby is in Slidell.
The Central City section of South Claiborne nearby, however, has seen a flurry of fast-food openings. Taco Bell reopened in a shuttered Pizza Hut about two years ago, and Raising Cane’s fried chicken is planning to replace the Subway at the corner of Toledano as part of the much larger redevelopment known as Magnolia Marketplace.
Turner said he didn’t know what specifically drew Krystal to South Claiborne, other than a general expansion. Officials from the Krystal corporation told a handful of neighbors that “they are planning 15-20 stores within the next 2-3 years throughout the metropolitan areas,” according to minutes from a Jan. 23 neighborhood meeting.
“Krystal wants to have more presence in the Southern region moving forward,” Turner said Tuesday afternoon.
The Planning Commission heard two other requests on Uptown properties Tuesday afternoon:
- Dat Dog is back before the City Planning Commission regarding the site plan for its Magazine Store. As currently designed, its interior and exterior space add up to 5,700 square feet, exceeding the maximum 5,000 square feet currently allowed by its zoning. City planners are recommending a number of changes to Dat Dog’s operating conditions in addition to the reduction in space, but attorney Justin Schmidt requested a deferral for more time for Dat Dog to review the issues and decide the best path forward. That request was granted, as commissioners noted no one was at Tuesday’s meeting in opposition.
- The City Planning Commission also heard a request to switch from residential to business zoning for a proposed dentist’s office at 5243 Tchoupitoulas. Planning staff had disapprovingly characterized the request as “spot zoning,” and several neighbors spoke in opposition, so the CPC voted to deny the request.
All land-use issues before the City Planning Commission next go before the City Council for final approval.
See our live coverage of the meeting below.