With a desirable Woodward corner lot in an increasingly meat-averse neighborhood, it's easy to imagine Midtown's branch of Church's Chicken redeveloped or rebranded within the next few years. That assumption turned out to be startlingly correct, but not for the reasons we expected.
Had the Planning and Development Department or the Zoning board of Appeals (ZBA) given Church's owners the go-ahead, the small restaurant would've been completely leveled. Rather than some sort of mixed-use development, however, rising from Church's greasy remains was to be an even bigger 52-seat, 2,500-square-foot fried chicken restaurant. We couldn't confirm the reasoning behind the ZBA's denial, but ordinances protect Detroit's main thoroughfares from most new fast food development, or at least give the ZBA the final say. It sounds like Church's ownership thought swapping a little chicken for a lot of chicken wouldn't be seen as new construction. It would appear as though they were wrong.