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Buehler’s Takes the Panera Way

As a growing city, Delaware has been experiencing many new businesses and restaurants coming in and out of the town. For Buehler’s Groceries, it’s been a bit of a struggle to keep customers coming through the doors for the past couple of years.

However, a solution has been proposed. Covelli Enterprises has ground-leased an outlet of 1.3 acres in front of Buehler’s for a new Panera Bread building. Buehler’s has asked for this rezoning request in order to proceed with the construction of three commercial buildings that would sit on West Central Avenue in front of Buehler’s existing location. Buehler’s director of construction and maintenance, Becky Foster, has stated that three buildings will be constructed as they are leased, starting with a corner lot already spoken for by Panera. Since the Panera agreement includes terms that deter Buehler’s from contracting with another restaurant, the other buildings will house retail shops.

“We’re struggling in Delaware,” Foster said. “We want to stay in this community, but we’ve got to fight.” It’s no secret that Buehler’s over the years has been competing with other grocery stores such as Kroger’s for their customers. Buehler’s hopes that this plan with Panera will increase its business and attract more retail stores. Hayes Sophomore, Peyton Ennis, whose family has lived just around the corner from Buehler’s for years doesn’t even go inside the store very often. “Every now and then we get something there, but we usually do our shopping at Kroger’s,” Ennis said. Foster says that if Buehler’s doesn’t do something to increase their sales, they may be forced to leave Delaware.

So what will come out of these new restaurants and stores being built? One concern that has risen is the issue of traffic. A traffic study conducted by Traffic Engineering Inc. showed that between 10,000 and 13,000 cars travel in the West Central Avenue area each day, with the peak times between 7-9am and 5-6pm. Preliminary development plans show that work related to the three outlots could include completion of a sidewalk along West Central Avenue as well as the installation of a traffic signal and additional lanes.

Covelli is also working on expanding more Panera cafes in Central Ohio. The next openings include two in the Delaware area – one in the city and one at the Route 36 exit off of interstate 71 – another in Heath, and a Gahanna café on North Hamilton Road. “We’d like to start doing more in Central Ohio,” said Covelli Enterprise Owner Sam Covelli.

However, some think that with all the local businesses in Delaware, the city should be careful with introducing more commercial chains. “I think any [restaurants] built after [Panera] may get out of hand and the city businesses may become too commercialized. I like some of these restaurants, but small businesses are cool too,” Ennis said. To add to that, Sean Hughes, Delaware‘s economic development coordinator thinks retail businesses will help Buehler‘s to prosper as a business. “Retail is really about an ecosystem,” “One retailer thrives off of another retailer, and Buehler’s needs some other retail out there to get foot traffic for them.”

In 12 neighborhood revitalization studies completed by other different cities in the state, 8 eight mentioned Panera as a target business to increase foot traffic to nearby businesses, he said.

Hughes estimated that a Panera would bring 55 new jobs to Delaware along with a payroll of $500,000 to $1 million, which would result in at least $13,800 in yearly income taxes. Hughes also presented council with Buehler’s numbers to illustrate what the city would lose out on if the grocery store and the adjoining Ace Hardware were to shut down. The store currently employs about 250 employees and brings in a minimum of $55,000 in income taxes each year.

So what do you think Buehler’s can do to improve its business? Do you think Panera is the right way to go or do you think something else should be done? And what about Delaware’s reputation for local businesses? Do you think those are an important asset to the city or do you believe its time to start building in more commercialized businesses?


NOTE: Some of this info is cited from


Concord Township: Set Sail for Scenic Scioto

Coyote at the Ohio Wildlife Center
Coyote at the Ohio Wildlife Center

Concord Township – Cross Section of America!

Even if you don’t dock your boat at the Leatherlips Yacht Club, you can still cruise down both sides of Concord Township in your stylin’ set of wheels.  Spring is the perfect time for a windows-down, radio-up kind of drive.

The Scioto River cuts right down the middle of Concord Township, flanked by state routes 745 and 257 on either side.  The community of Bellpoint is in the north, Rathbone is in the middle and Shawnee Hills holds strong in the southern part.  The Delaware County part of Dublin is at the southern tip. [Read more…]

Getting to the Root of it in Powell

Loaded Chips at Local Root

Loaded Chips at Local Roots

The Root Of The Matter

Okay, let’s be honest with each other for a moment. As much as we love our home county, sometimes we venture south to Columbus for a night of fun. Maybe you’re going to see the Blue Jackets play at Nationwide Arena, or perhaps you’re about to catch a show at the Palace Theatre. In either case, there’s plenty of time to begin your night out right here in Delaware County.

Local Roots is a fantastic dinner option to begin or cap off your night out. The name, Local Roots, is a play on their concept. The menu is made up of locally sourced produce and meats. According to their website they serve Ohio pork, Amish chicken, Ohio Bison, and produce from their family farm “not far from downtown Powell.” A well-stocked bar is bolstered by a list of beers from around Ohio with 24 beers on tap.

What is it about “Local Roots?”

As great as this sounded to me when I looked them up for the first time, it was the Loaded Chips that called my name. My very first bite confirmed that I was about to have a great night of food ahead of me. “Loaded Chips” start with house made chips smothered by a creamy blend of alfredo, gorgonzola cheese, and bacon. My fiancé Sarah and I absolutely loved this appetizer just about as much as we loved the environment at Local Roots. We came on a Wednesday and were pleasantly surprised to see a lively room.

The bar was packed and many of the seats and booths were filled. The room size was larger than it looked from outside, helped by a generous vault in the ceiling. What impressed me the most about Local Roots was the staff we encountered that night. Each person acknowledged us with a gentle nod and a smile, and one man was even singing a Frank Sinatra tune to himself. It made us feel welcome and ready to have a great meal.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup (Also known as “Perfection”)

Loaded Baked Potato Soup (Also known as “Perfection”)

Let the meal begin

I began with a cup of Loaded Baked Potato Soup, and when I was done with it I immediately realized I made an error in only ordering a cup. It was simply perfect. They nailed the flavor of a full bite of a real loaded baked potato. It was creamy and cheesy, starchy and salty, warm and adorned with just enough bacon to balance it all together. Local Roots has an incredibly balanced mix of entrees. Sarah ordered the Bolognese served over Fresh Ohio Pasta, where I gladly ordered the Arroz con Pollo (Spice Rubbed ½ Chicken and Rice).

Local Roots four


Local Roots five

Arroz Con Pollo

“Chicken and Rice” absolutely does not go deep enough to explain this wonderful Arroz Con Pollo. Sitting atop my plate was fall-off-the-bone tender spice rubbed half chicken. It was moist and full of great flavor, pairing quite nicely with the crumbled Chorizo and Spicy Tomato Sauce. Everything sat an bed of Spanish rice. I’ll be honest, I might have stuffed myself that night, but it was certainly more than worth it. I was pleasantly surprised to see a full Gluten Free menu. This wasn’t just a few entrée options but rather an entire menu to meet your Gluten Free needs. Local Roots also offers a carry out option (great for those on the go), and has a banquet room to host private or restaurant hosted events. Local Roots will defiantly be on my rotation

Bonus Time:

Looking for something different to entertain yourself with? Local Roots also offers an events calendar filled with some pretty great nights. Here are just a few things coming up at Local Roots:

February 24th is Ladies Night “Scotch & Centerpieces” were you will get a little lesson on various scotches.

• March 11th is a “Tuesday Teaching” centered round Blended Scotches touching on the Johnnie Walker family.

March 19th brings us “Dinner In The Dark” featuring a blind menu that you are in the “dark” about. (This one excites me the most)

Local Roots:



Experiencing Delaware’s newest legend, Son of Thurman


Delaware’s newest restaurant, Son of Thurman, is now open for business! My family and I went last Friday night, their second day open, to try it out.

We have never ventured down to the original Thurman Cafe in German Village, so we weren’t totally sure what to expect from this experience. I had kept track of a few of the improvements via the Son of Thurman facebook page, but it doesn’t compare to the first time you walk into a new renovated space. [Read more…]