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City of Chicago’s first Culver’s opening January 23 at Lake Meadows Market in Bronzeville

The first Culver’s restaurant within the city limits of Chicago will open its doors on Tuesday, January 23, at 10 a.m., in the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood, according to franchise owner Baron Waller and Draper and Kramer, Incorporated, the developer of the Lake Meadows Market retail center at 35th Street and King Drive, where the new 4,300-square-foot restaurant is located.

Company co-Founder Craig Culver, President and CEO Joe Koss, and local elected officials will be on hand to meet and greet customers that morning.

“We’re thrilled to bring custom, made-to-order, high-quality meals and desserts to Chicago, all served with a friendly smile,” said Waller, who owns and operates Culver’s restaurants in Joliet, New Lenox and Lockport. “We’re equally as excited to become a supportive member within the Bronzeville community, and proud to have added more than 65 jobs to the local workforce. Culver’s was founded on the idea of providing excellent service and high-quality food made with the best ingredients. The outstanding people who serve our guests behind the counter have helped us earn our reputation, and we’re excited to have team members from the surrounding community as part of our team.”

The restaurant serves fast casual food cooked-to-order. Culver’s signature sandwich and guest-favorite, the ButterBurger, is made with 100% fresh, never frozen, U.S. beef made cooked-to-order and topped with a lightly buttered and toasted bun. The chain’s fresh frozen custard gets its legendary creamy decadence from high-quality, fresh Wisconsin dairy from which every batch is crafted throughout the day.

Culver’s is the latest addition to Lake Meadows Market as part of Draper and Kramer’s multi-phase redevelopment of the retail center. Phase I of the project, which added a new 40,000-square-foot LA Fitness and renovated existing retail space, was completed in late 2015. Currently underway, Phase 2 will ultimately bring 11,500 square feet of additional retail space to the existing shopping center to house new tenants including Culver’s, and will also entail façade updates to an adjacent, existing wing of the center.

“Draper and Kramer has a long-standing commitment to Bronzeville, from our firm’s involvement in the creation of Lake Meadows in the 1950s, to our current long-term vision for the Lake Meadows community and, most recently, our role on the redevelopment team for the former Michael Reese Hospital site,” said Ed Polich, chief development officer for Draper and Kramer. “We’re proud to continue to enhance one of Chicago’s most vibrant neighborhoods through the addition of great new retail and restaurant options like Lake Meadows Market and Culver’s, which will only add to this community’s appeal for current and future residents.”

Draper and Kramer worked with Chicago-based Urban Partnership Bank to finance the first and second phases of the Lake Meadows Market redevelopment. “This Culver’s and the entire Lake Meadows Market represent the type of project needed in the Bronzeville community. Being a part of this development is a meaningful example of our bank’s mission – to make a difference in the communities we serve” said Darrell Hubbard, Chief Banking Officer, Urban Partnership Bank.

Chicago- and Gary, Ind.-based Powers & Sons Construction Company is the contractor for the Phase 2 retail project, which will incorporate a number of green features, including green roofs and permeable paver parking lots, as well as extensive streetscaping and outdoor dining areas. Powers & Sons were among a consortium selected in 2017 to help construct the Obama Presidential Library.

A second Culver’s is also scheduled in late January to soon open in Chicago at Six Corners in the Portage Park neighborhood on Chicago’s northwest Side.

 About Culver’s:

For over 30 years, Culver’s guests have been treated to cooked-to-order food made with farm-fresh ingredients, served with a smile. The ever-expanding franchise system now numbers nearly 650 independently owned and operated restaurants in 24 states. The restaurants’ nationally-recognized customer service is based on small-town, Midwestern values, genuine friendliness and an unwavering commitment to quality. Signature items include the award-winning ButterBurger®, made from fresh, never frozen, beef, and Fresh Frozen Custard, including the famous Flavor of the Day program. For more information, visit,,, or

About Draper and Kramer, Incorporated:

Founded in 1893, Draper and Kramer, Incorporated is family-owned and one of the leading privately held full- service real estate firms in the U.S. Draper and Kramer is headquartered in Chicago with a national reach and broad offering of services. The company’s expertise spans residential and commercial property management and leasing; debt and equity financing for commercial properties; residential and commercial acquisition and development; and residential mortgage services through Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp. Draper and Kramer provides a single source of real estate-related counsel to a diverse group of investors in real estate across the U.S including corporations; private and institutional owners and users of real estate; government agencies; condominium associations; and foundations. For more information, visit

About Urban Partnership Bank:

Urban Partnership Bank is an FDIC-insured, certified Community Development Financial Institution with approximately $500 million in assets that was established when it acquired the deposits and some of the assets of ShoreBank from the FDIC in August of 2010. Its mission is to make a difference every day: building vibrant urban neighborhoods, promoting economic and environmental sustainability and creating long-term success for its communities and the Bank.


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