The application for White Castle was deemed technically complete for public hearing by the township Planning Board.
“I’m not digging that,” said Katie Bonacolta of Big League Barbers, a hair salon located at Sunrise Plaza, which is right next to the site where White Castle will be located.
Although the fast food restaurant most likely won’t have a long-term effect on business, traffic will be impacted, she said.
“Maybe it will be a little like Sonic (in Waretown),” she said. There was a boost in business for a short time after Sonic was built. “Traffic is just going to get worse.”
White Castle will replace an existing dwelling at the intersection of Sunrise Boulevard and North Main Street.
Sunrise Boulevard typically gets backed up, said Brian Besser of , also located in Sunrise Plaza.
“It’s going to create a problem for Sunrise Beach people,” he said.
But there might be a spike in business, Besser’s wife Janine Besser said. If White Castle creates a cross-access to Sunrise Plaza, more attention will be drawn to the bagel shop.
“It won’t hurt business,” Brian Besser said. “It’s a different quality of food.”
But despite how the White Castle impacts business, Janine Besser does not see any positives.
“I think it’s going to create more kids hanging out,” she said. “That worries me for our business.”
White Castle appeared before the board several years ago, Board Engineer Bruce Jacobs said.
Originally the site plan was cramped and the applicant was seeking many variances, he said. The Department of Transportation did not give the applicant access to Route 9 and a buffer was located on the border of a residential and commercial zone.
Now, the applicant plans to restripe the intersection of Sunrise Boulevard and Route 9 and they purchased an extra lot, Jacobs said. The restaurant will have a drive-through.
“It’s disgusting,” Bonacolta said. “It will be located a mile within McDonald’s and Burger King.”
White Castle will be before the Planning Board for a public hearing on Monday, April 9 at 7 p.m.