Hanks Place files rebuild plan

The march to get Chadds Ford’s iconic restaurant back up and running has begun. But, when it will all come to fruition for the owners of Hank’s Place remains a guess.

As most everyone in the area knows, Hank’s was wiped out in the flooding from Hurricane Ida, and owners Anthony and Katie Young have been working with architects and engineers to get engineered plans together for a rebuild. Wednesday night, that plan went before the Planning Commission for the first time.

To prevent future flooding, the plan calls for the old structure to be razed, then a new building constructed on pillars will raise the restaurant by 8.5 feet. A ramp system will get patrons from the parking lot to the restaurant. In addition, there will be room for employee parking and some storage underneath the new building.

Parking is an issue. While the restaurant will not lose spaces, keeping the current 45, Planning Commission member Thomas Bradley is concerned about night hours when Antica and Brandywine Prime are open and their lots are full. He said he’s had to park across Route 1 in the Post Office lot and walk across Route 1, something that can be dangerous.

“Poor parking puts peoples’ lives in danger,” he said.

While the number of parking spaces increases by two, the restaurant's capacity will go from 65 to 95. Katie Young said the extra capacity comes from a planned outdoor deck.

However, before those plans get approved, the Youngs will have to take them to the Historical and Architectural Review Board because the restaurant is in the Historic District. They’ll also need zoning waivers from parking requirements and some housekeeping issues such as lighting and landscape plans. And because of the extra seating capacity, Commission member Valerie Hoxter said they should also check with the Sewer Authority to assure they have adequate sewer capacity.
Commission Chairman Craig Huffman said the Youngs would also have to return to the Planning Commission to recommend conditional use approval to use the outdoor deck. He added that it would be best to resolve the zoning variances and HARB issues before returning to the Planning Commission.

Once those matters are resolved and the Planning Commission votes to recommend the plans for approval, the Youngs would then go to the Board of Supervisors for final approval.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.



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