What is arguably one of busiest Dunkin’ Donuts in the area, the Orient Heights Dunkin’ Donuts on Bennington has begun renovations to add a drive thru to the popular coffee shop as well as exterior and interior modifications. The Dunkin’ Donuts, located at 951 Bennington St., will be closed throughout construction when the coffee shop will reopen with the added drive thru.
Last year Orient Heights Neighborhood Council members voted 18-6-1 against placing a drive thru at the Dunkin’ Donuts in Orient Heights.
Citing traffic as the primary concern those who voted against the proposed drive thru applauded plans to upgrade the building and add outdoor seating but said the drive thru may add more congestion to an already congested street.
However, the OHNC vote was trumped by the Boston Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) who approved the project anyway and allowed the addition of a drive thru proceed.
Owners of the Dunkin’ Donuts are planning a $550,000 renovation to the interior and exterior of the current 13,000 sq. ft. building and add the drive thru as an added amenity.
Attorney for Dunkin’ Donuts, Jeff Drago, said the building would receive a new facade, stone work, new attractive lighting, and added greenspace in and around the parking lot. The interior will be completely overhauled and add more seating for customers.
There would also be an addition of café-style outdoor seating in front of the restaurant.
The popular Orient Heights coffee shop at 951 Bennington St. would add an entrance point in its existing parking lot for the drive thru. Those exiting the drive thru would be able to only turn right onto Bennington St. according to the designs.
OHNC members like Mary Carrozza were in the minority on the drive thru issue and said she liked the idea of having a drive thru at the location.
“I hate that in the morning when I’m in a rush I have to find a parking space, get out of my car, wait in line, order my coffee, get back into my car and pull out of the lot,” she said. “I don’t like to get out of my car when I’m in a rush.”