Making Moves

Popeyes Begins Site Work; Starbucks Still Waiting

A Starbucks coffee shop in the town of Dunkirk, already approved by the Town Board, will not begin construction until AT&T vacated the building where Starbucks will be located in the Tops Plaza on Vineyard Drive.

DUNKIRK — After almost a year has passed since its project approval, a new Popeyes drive-thru restaurant has finally begun excavation and preparation for construction of its drive-thru location in the Town of Dunkirk.

The Popeyes restaurant will be located in the Dunkirk Multiplex plaza on Bennett Road, within sight of the Dunkirk/Fredonia Thruway entrance. The plaza is also home to the recently opened Planet Fitness gym, which began operations in the final weeks of 2023.

Down the road on Vineyard Drive in the Tops Plaza, several moving parts have held up the addition that coffee lovers have been waiting for since its approval last fall. The construction of a Starbucks drive-thru coffee shop is still awaiting its location to open up before it can proceed.

Starbucks will take over the current AT&T location in the plaza, which is on the end of a strip of businesses near the Vineyard Drive entrance to the plaza. However, until AT&T vacates the premises, Starbucks remains in a holding pattern.

As stated by Ryan Mourer, Town of Dunkirk zoning and code enforcement officer, the Starbucks location will begin site work at its location in the Tops Plaza as soon as the site becomes available.

Brett Steenburgh, an engineer working on behalf of Liberty Restaurants, presented the Popeyes restaurant site plans to the Dunkirk Town Board at a public hearing nearly a year ago. P-J photos by Braden Carmen

AT&T was initially believed to be moving two doors down the plaza to the building previously occupied by GameStop, but instead, a new T-Mobile store has claimed that spot. T-Mobile has now officially moved in, while AT&T is allegedly evaluating other available locations within the same plaza to relocate to. GameStop has not provided any plans to Mourer for a potential new location.

Once the impending AT&T move has been completed, with the addition of T-Mobile, the plaza will now host four separate telephone providers: AT&T, T-Mobile, Spectrum, and Verizon.

The Starbucks project was approved by the Town Board last August, with conditions suggested by the Planning Board after offering its conditional approval last June. Among the conditions the Town Board set forth attached to its approval of the Starbucks site plan were the installation of speed limit signs, turn signs, and other appropriate signage, lane markers to direct traffic, and a speed bump to deter drivers from operating vehicles at high speeds in the area.

Despite the delays, Mourer still believes that as of now, the targeted date for construction near Labor Day has not yet been impacted.

In other developments in the Town of Dunkirk, in recent weeks, two properties have allegedly been surveyed by solar energy companies for potential projects. One property surveyed recently is on Brigham Road, separate from the current solar energy project already approved on Brigham Road. The other property is located on Willow Road.

Regarding both properties in question, Mourer was not notified prior to the surveys being conducted. He was notified of the activity by nearby homeowners. Mourer expects to hear more on the matter in the coming weeks.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today