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DELIGHTS MAY DOUBLE FOR DEVOTEES OF DOUGHNUTS

A doughnut showdown is cooking again in Kenmore and the Town of Tonawanda, pitting French crullers against apple fritters and Munchkins against Tim Bits.

Dunkin' Donuts intends to tear down its closed Delaware Avenue doughnut shop and replace it with a new store that will have a drive-through window, according to building plans filed with the village.

The new store will go head to head with the busy Tim Hortons doughnut shop at Delaware Road and Sheridan Drive in the Town of Tonawanda, and the competition could lower prices, Kenmore Mayor John W. Beaumont said.

"I think competition is good for anybody," Beaumont said.

Dunkin' Donuts plans to construct an 1,800-square-foot building at the 3155 Delaware Ave. location, with a drive-through and seating for 18, according to the building plans.

The building's facade will consist of split-face masonry block, and the shop will be painted royal plume, pumpkin orange and Paris white.

The previous Dunkin' Donuts outlet closed one or two years ago, but town and village officials aren't sure of the date.

Business at the store appeared to suffer after Tim Hortons opened its 24-hour shop at 1777 Sheridan Drive in 1992.

"Dunkin' Donuts was there years before Tim Hortons, and they had the market cornered," Beaumont said.

He said the Dunkin' Donuts closed because the franchisee refused to invest in a drive-through window, which the parent company considered necessary to bring in more business.

Dunkin' Donuts then pulled their franchise, he said, forcing the store to close.

A spokeswoman for Dunkin' Donuts, based outside Boston, Mass., said she couldn't comment on why the store closed.

Doreen Whalen-O'Shea would say only that Dunkin' Donuts plans to open the new store in the fall. She declined to reveal the name of the new franchise owner.

"We are committed to that market," Whalen-O'Shea said.

The company's plans for the site have been approved, but permits have not been issued, said Michael Hazen, the Town of Tonawanda building inspector.

Beaumont said Delaware Avenue in Kenmore's business district has had a number of new construction projects.

"This is just another example of the strength of the village of Kenmore," Beaumont said.

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