COPLEY — The bunny is gone.
But don't worry, bunny fans, it's safe.
The township has removed the giant metal bunny sign that stood for decades at the corner of Copley and Collier roads and taken it to a secure location while trustees determine what to do with it.
"The sign was removed so as to protect it," township director of community and economic development Matt Springer said Friday. "It’s since been taken to a secured facility we own. ... Our service director indicated the metal was in pretty poor condition and has a significant amount of rust and deterioration around the joints."
The sign — a white bunny eating a hamburger and with a napkin around its neck — had served as a community landmark. It was erected in the early 1960s and stood at first outside the Bunny Drive-In, which later became Charlie's Ribs & Chicken. The restaurant closed in 2016.
The township bought the property this year and plans to demolish the blighted restaurant to make way for greenspace.
The burger-eating bunny stands nearly 12 feet fall and is nearly 8 feet wide — much bigger than originally estimated when looking at it from the ground.
As soon as Bunny and Charlie's fans heard that the rabbit was going to be taken down, they started flooding the township with recommendations about what should become of the beloved sign.
Many private collectors want to buy it. Others suggested that it remain there or be moved to Copley Community Park down the road. The American Sign Museum in Cincinnati inquired about obtaining it. And the Summit County Fair in Tallmadge expressed an interest in installing it outside the rabbit barn.
Township Administrator Janice Marshall said there's no timetable for making a decision.
"The trustees love that sign as much as anybody and want to preserve it," she said.
The Charlie's Ribs & Chicken sign that hung on the pole below the bunny was given to former property owner Jeannie Kalos, whose husband, Charlie, ran the restaurant before his death in 2016.
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.