CLAYTON — Lunch options may soon expand here, now that the popular hamburger chain Char-Grill has cleared its first hurdle in winning approval of its site plan from the town.
The town’s planning board voted unanimously to OK the site plan. “Without a doubt, they’ll be serving the best orangeade in Clayton,” said Mayor Jody McLeod. “It shows Clayton is a great place for small businesses to grow as well as bigger chains like Char-Grill.”
Restaurant owners were required to seek the special use permit because they want to include outdoor seating at their restaurant, a staple of other Char-Grill locations.
Plans submitted to the town indicate the restaurant would be located behind KS Bank in the Clayton Corners Shopping Center. The lot, which is currently vacant, would be home to a 3,082-square-foot building. It would include indoor and outdoor seating and a drive-through lane.
The restaurant owners hope to have it open by August, said Stacy Beard, spokeswoman for the town of Clayton.
Bringing the regionally popular chain to Clayton is something of a coup. From its original location on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh, the company has slowly expanded over several decades, first opening new locations in Raleigh before creating a franchising system that has led to locations in other communities including Davidson, Garner, High Point and Durham.
The chain creates a 1950’s feel about its business, with a quick order system that requires patrons to write their orders on notepads and slip them through a slot to a waiting fast-order cook.
Clayton Chamber of Commerce Director Jim Godfrey says he’s glad to see the company set up shop here.
“I think it’s a positive to have a company like Char-Grill coming to Clayton. Of course, I’d say that about any company that wants to do business here, but it’s good to have a company with their reputation want to locate here,” Godfrey said.