COPLEY — The bunny sure has a lot of fans.
The township is being inundated with suggestions about what to do with the giant bunny sign that stands outside the former Charlie's Ribs & Chicken restaurant on Copley Road. The township has bought the property and plans to demolish the blighted restaurant to make way for greenspace.
The Beacon Journal/Ohio.com reported on the project last week and noted that the township has a mini-dilemma on its hands: what to do with the bunny sign, which has stood for decades and is a community landmark. The township doesn't have a use for an 8-foot-tall white rabbit eating a hamburger, but officials also have no interest in throwing away a piece of local history.
Some people would like to see the faded sign fixed up and remain where it's at — or relocated to the 80-acre Copley Community Park down the road. Many private collectors have called the township to try to buy it. There's so much interest there could be an auction. Or maybe it will be donated.
"Why not leave it there and have it as a landmark?" asked Robin Reid, a Fairlawn resident.
He suggested that the area, the sign is at the intersection of Copley and Collier roads, could be renamed Bunny's Corner or Bunny's Crossing.
The Cincinnati-based American Sign Museum, which displays signs from all over the country, even has called inquiring about its future.
"I would hope that the sign would remain in Akron, maybe at that park," museum Executive Director Tod Swormstedt said. But he added that the museum would be more than willing to preserve the sign and put it on display.
"We love iconic signs," he said.
The bunny sign marked the location of the popular Bunny Drive-In, which opened in the early 1960s by Bob Kalos and was named for his wife, Delores "Bunny" Kalos. While only the bunny remains today, the post also once held signs saying "Bunny," "Hamburgers," "15¢" and a changeable one to promote specials. There also was a Summer Bunny sign, but that was taken down a long time ago.
The Bunny Drive-In later became Charlie's Ribs. The restaurant closed in 2016 after Charlie Kalos, Bob's son, died.
Township trustees will make the final call on what happens to the bunny.
No decisions have been made as they weigh the options, said Matt Springer, township director of community and economic development.
"What we are stressing is it will be preserved in some shape or form and we will honor the Kalos family," he said.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.