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Culver’s arrives in West Humboldt Park and Austin

NEW CULVER’S restaurant on Chicago’s West Side.

Residents in two of Chicago’s West Side communities will now be a lot closer to a Culver’s restaurant.  A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Monday, November 13 at 4347 West Chicago Avenue for residents of West Humboldt Park and Austin. The wait for delicious ButterBurgers® and creamy Fresh Frozen Custard has ended after nearly five years since the initial announcement.

The newly constructed, 3,700 square foot, stand-alone Culver’s is the first project to be completed on the state-of-the-art Public Safety Training Campus. The Campus is being developed by the City of Chicago’s Department of Assets, Information and Services and built by BOWA Construction, a Black-owned firm. The Safety Training Program campus and facility is designed to spur community renewal and train hundreds of first responders.

The project and partnership with locally owned businesses was first introduced by 37th Ward Alderperson Emma Mitts and former Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2019. “The new Culver’s reflects my neighborhood priorities which focus on strengthening the 37th Ward economy by creating new jobs, investing in our infrastructure, and providing amenities that serve our residents,” said Ald. Emma Mitts.

The new Culver’s features a pedestrian-friendly design that includes an indoor dining room for 100 people, an outdoor patio, and two drive-thru lanes. It will be open daily, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. serving fast, casual food, cooked to order.

This is the fifth Culver’s restaurant in Chicago owned by Baron Waller, the former IT consultant turned restaurateur who is responsible for bringing the Wisconsin-based chain to Chicago when he opened a location in Bronzeville in 2018. Baron also owns Culver’s locations in Pullman and Ravenswood/Lincoln Square that opened in 2021, and one in Wrigleyville that opened just last month, along with three restaurants in the southwest suburbs and two in Florida.

The national chain was launched in 1984, when Craig Culver along with his family opened the first Culver’s restaurant in the family’s hometown of Sauk City, WI. They built their reputation on providing great cooked-to-order food with an emphasis on service, hospitality, and community involvement. Their signature items include the Butterburger and Fresh Frozen Custard. Today, there are 940 locations in 26 states, including five in Chicago and many more throughout the region.

“It’s very important to me that I am working in under-resourced neighboohods whee people need jobs, because jobs are one of the most effective ways to really drive positive change,” Waller said.  “That’s the primary reason we concentrate on hiring young adults from high schools near our restaurants – a job and the responsibilities that go with it can work wonders for a young person. And having an amenity like Culver’s that’s a destination for people of all ages is essential to creating a strong, sustainable community.”

“I would love to open more restaurants in Chicago to create opportunities for other people, just as I’ve had opportunities in my life. I firmly believe that the only way you can make a difference is by doing the same for someone else,” added Baron.

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