Site plans confirm that the upcoming Raising Cane’s Chicken Finger restaurant being proposed for Deptford NJ will mean the demolition of the Don Pablo’s building, located on Deptford Center Road.
UPDATE: APPROVED! Raising Cane’s was approved at the January 11th Deptford Planning Meeting. I was on vacation that week and unable to attend… so this is my December 10th article that was published before the meeting. Nothing else to add.
42Freeway first broke the news of the Deptford location to readers back in August of this year. This was before any town meetings were scheduled. As of today no approval meetings are set but we expect it to happen in early 2023.
Well, we have the full set of site plans after all, which is a big sign they are close to presenting to the town Planning Board. More details on the site plan below.
If you aren’t familiar, Raising Cane’s is a chicken finger restaurant with a cult-like following. They are to chicken fingers, what In-And-Out is to burgers! Fans really love the chicken fingers and Cane’s Sauce… calling themselves “Caniacs”!
The location for the new Deptford Raising Cane’s will be along Deptford Center Road and sit in front of the Target Store. So again, this is where Don Pablo’s was located. On the other side is an Applebee’s and across the street from the planned chicken finger restaurant is Mission BBQ.
Some had wondered if the Don Pablo’s building would remain and be utilized by Raising Cane’s, but knowing that fast-food outlets like theirs have a distinctive building style (not to mention the old Don Pablo’s building is much too large) it was clear to 42Freeway that the old Tex-Mex eatery building was coming down.
Additionally, in today’s post-pandemic world a fast and high-throughput drive-thru setup is the name of the fast food game… and Raising Cane’s needed the extra space to create a full two-lane drive through setup.
A 2020 article at Forbes says the Average Raising Cane’s Unit Volumes are greater than McDonald’s!
Raising Cane’s is new to the Philadelphia area and currently operate locations in Philadelphia (which I’ve visited and tried the chicken fingers! Read on below)
I have information on another location in the works for another 42Freeway region town but need to further confirm it before sharing with readers.
Don Pablo’s and Miller’s Ale House: A Recap
Don Pablo’s was a popular Tex-Mex restaurant which in the 2010’s was on a slow decline in store locations.
Heading into 2019 Deptford was the last location remaining, and in June of 2019 they abruptly closed.
Just 3 months after the closing of Don Pablo’s, 42Freeway determined that Miller’s Ale House was taking over the property.
Miller’s plan was to gut the large and distinctive building, effectively building a new restaurant inside the outer brick shell.
It was clear that Miller’s was serious about the location in 2019 as they quickly got to work gutting the building and started working on the new HVAC duct work (some of which was stored outside ahead of construction).
Timing is everything, and just a few short months later the US found itself in an crushing pandemic economic shutdown. This stopped construction and made every company rethink their future plans.
While at one time later on we were told the project was a go again, Miller’s eventually walked away from it.
it’s important to note that with a fast-food restaurant replacing Don Pablo’s, that means there is liquor license unused in Deptford. Due to the successful commercial area around the mall, that makes the license a prized possession of the shopping center owner. We have no details on plans for the license.
Raising Cane’s Deptford Site Plan
The site plans obtained by 42Freeway show that the building will be developed in almost the exact same spot as the Don Pablo’s building, but significantly smaller.. sized as a fast-food restaurant.
The building will be developed to face Deptford Center Road and the dual lane drive-thru will run counter-clockwise around the building, with the drive-thru windows facing the Target parking lot.
The 2 acre property has plenty of room for parking, which is listed as 42 spaces. The site plan calls out that only 19 are required
The restaurant will also offer a small outdoor seating area in the front corner.
The existing entrance into the Don Pablo’s property from the Shopping Center access road near Applebee’s, will still be utilized but it appears they will be making it significantly wider. This main access is for cars entering AND leaving.
A second “exit only” will be added on the right side at the road closest to Target.
The Raising Cane’s “Caniacs” Experience
Over the summer when I wrote about the Cherry Hill location at MarltonPike.com I visited the newly opened location in Center City Philadelphia to see what all of the fanaticism was all about!
Raising Cane’s is a premium chicken breast “finger” which is always made to order… and their chicken is hand-breaded and never frozen. Seriously they are only about chicken fingers. Deliciously tender chicken fingers.
And you won’t find a variety of sauces for your chicken fingers either as they carry their own special recipe sauce called Cane’s Sauce.
Based on internet lore and copy-cat recipes, the sauce appears to be based on; mayonnaise, ketchup, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper. The Cane’s sauce recipe really is a secret though. It’s made fresh in the store but that responsibility is left with the store General Managers!
They also offer sides; Crinkle-Cut fries, Coleslaw and Texas Toast… and of course Cane’s Sauce.
If it’s your first time visiting, consider trying the Box Combo that has all of these items in the basket. But be warned.. it’s a LOT of food!
Don’t get me wrong, those sides are a very strong supporting cast, loved by Raising Cane’s fans as much as the tenders are.
And the freshness theme carries through to the sides.
The coleslaw is made daily in each store. The fries are Grade A potatoes. And the Texas Toast starts with a pull-apart sesame seed bread that they add butter and garlic blend too, and toast on the flat-top griddle.
As mentioned at this time the project has not been presented to the Deptford Planning Board but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the meeting scheduled as early as January.
Links and Locations
Raising Cane’s Deptford (location coming 2023?)
1860 Deptford Center Rd
Deptford NJ 08096