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Restaurant co-owner says Charcoal Steakhouse isn't going anywhere, despite rezoning proposal

The Charcoal Steakhouse on June 19, 2024. (Dave Pettitt/CTV News) The Charcoal Steakhouse on June 19, 2024. (Dave Pettitt/CTV News)
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Fans of a Kitchener steakhouse won’t have to worry about finding a new go-to spot, despite an application to rezone the restaurant as a mixed-use development.

Co-owner Tom Wideman insists there are no plans to shut down Charcoal Steakhouse at the corner of King Street East and Fairway Road North.

“There’s no redevelopment that’s imminent in our future,” he told CTV News in an interview Friday. “We’re just going through a rezoning exercise so that we just have flexibility in the future. As you know, there’s lot of development going on and we just wanted to make sure that our property keeps pace and [is] consistent with that development.”

The restaurant, located at 2980 King Street East, is also home to Del’s Italian Kitchen and Martini’s Bar & Patio. All three are owned by Charcoal Group Restaurants.

The application submitted to city council includes rezoning the property for a potential 32-storey mixed-use building with retail and restaurant spaces on the lower levels, as well as residential units in the upper floors.

Wideman said the building is almost 50 years old and they are trying to plan for the future.

“We have to keep reimaging how it might look several years from now.”

Wideman also said the application is unique to the site and they are not considering similar applications at other locations belonging to Charcoal Group, such as The Bauer Kitchen or Beertown in Waterloo, or Sociable in Brantford.

“We just feel like that type of redevelopment is well suited for that area because it’s a major transportation route. It’s close to the LRT, highway interchange, close to the 401, with a pretty direct road to the airport, so it really checks all the boxes in that room.”

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