Planning Commission approves Taco John's expansion plans, Dairy Queen's remodeling upgrades

Mitchell City Hall 5.jpg
The front entrance of City Hall, located at 612 N. Main St. (Republic file photo)

Two of the city’s fast food restaurants could be implementing significant changes after the Planning and Zoning Commission backed the companies' plans during Monday's meeting at City Hall.

Taco John’s is seeking to expand the existing 701 N. Sanborn Blvd. location to include a substantial building addition, which would extend toward Sanborn Boulevard. The Planing Commission unanimously approved the front yard variance -- which is necessary in order for the restaurant to add a roughly 19 foot addition to the existing 25 foot building.

Herm Harms, Puetz Corporation architect, is the contractor tasked with designing the expansion plan for Taco John’s. Harms said the Taco John’s expansion plan is intended to modernize the restaurant up to par with other existing locations.

“They’re going to tear off that small glass sun space addition that’s facing Sanborn Boulevard,” Harms said. “This will help them keep up with the corporate image.”

While the initial variance for the fast food restaurant was a 17 foot variance, Harms said the 8-by-8 foot awning included in the addition requires an additional 2 feet in the front yard variance application.


In addition, Dairy Queen, located at 1501 W. Havens Ave., will be undergoing significant interior and exterior upgrades. The exterior work would include improving the building's facade, along with window replacements. According to the improvement plan, the fast food restaurant would welcome an improved drive-thru area. The interior improvements would primarily encompass bathroom remodeling.

The fate of Dairy Queen’s improvement plan and Taco John’s front yard variance -- which is necessary for the expansion -- will be decided by the Mitchell City Council at the Sept. 3 meeting.

Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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