Subway making move to smoke-free zone

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Citing a desire to provide a smoke-free restaurant in Cloverdale, the co-owners of the Cloverdale Travel Plaza have approached the Cloverdale Plan Commission with the hope of moving the Subway out of the building.

The owners approached the board recently with plans to move the deli restaurant out of the travel plaza to its own building near U.S. 231.

Subway currently sits between a restaurant and a gas station inside the travel plaza.

Co-owner Ashok Bhargava told the BannerGraphic recently that plans have been in the making for the move for quite some time. He also said there was interest in making the restaurant smoke-free.

"We've been thinking about it for almost a year," Bhargava said. "Remodeling was not going to do anything for the business."

Bhargava said the Subway has existed in the travel plaza for nearly eight years. He has served as co-owner of the plaza for almost two years.

Cloverdale's plan commission had planned to meet Thursday to discuss new plans that were drawn up for the move. However, two board members were unable to attend.

But board president Jerry Acrea said the plan commission has been working with the co-owners of the building for some time regarding the move.

"They have pretty good plans for it," Acrea said. "They've got their act together."

However, Acrea said there were minor concerns regarding the move.

Current plans call for a new Subway restaurant to be placed in the ravine next to the hill in front of the travel plaza, located off U.S. 231.

In a meeting late last year, plan commission members -- along with Cloverdale building inspector Mark Cassida and Cloverdale Police Chief Charlie Hallam -- expressed concern regarding the traffic of semitrucks entering and exiting the plaza.

Acrea said the owners of the travel plaza went back to the "drawing board" to put together new plans.

Acrea said the new plans, which the board has not seen yet, could call for the rearranging of roads in and around the travel plaza for semitrucks and other traffic.

"We don't have a problem with it, but there were some minor things," Acrea said.

On Monday, Hallam said he and Cassida met with the owners of the plaza Friday to discuss the new plans of the restaurant. Hallam said the most recent plan for the design addressed the parking issues in addition to concerns he and Cassida had with a proposed drive-thru for the restaurant.

"We talked about everything and it looks pretty good," Hallam said.

Bhargava said construction of the building and roads could take up to 60 days to complete.

The plan commission meets regularly on the first Thursday of each month at town hall. Its next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., Feb. 1.

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