WRIGLEYVILLE — Wisconsin transplants, rejoice: Culver's is coming soon. And you can even live above it.
Now in the final round of financing, developers expect to break ground by the end of the year at Clark Street and Cornelia Avenue — two blocks south of Wrigley Field.
"We've just been trying to get all the pieces put together. We submitted some stuff to the city, and they came back with a few little things to change," said Justin Obriecht, property owner and franchisee.
Construction on a mixed-use building anchored by the city's first Culver's is expected to break ground by the end of 2015. (Provided/Justin Obriecht)
Plans are also in place for a second Culver's in Portage Park, kicking off a race to the finish line for the first Culver's in Chicago that will largely be decided by permits and financing.
Ariel Cheung says they anticipate big crowds regardless of Cubs games:
Obriecht has owned the property at 3500 N. Clark St. for more than a year, when his plans for the first Chicago Culver's were announced. He also runs five Culver's in the southwest suburbs.
Six two-bedroom apartments will go on the second and third floors above the fast-food restaurant. Building will take about nine months, positioning Culver's to open in Wrigleyville between July and September — prime Cubs time.
Still, Obriecht said he won't be relying on baseball season to sustain the business.
"We just kind of look at the baseball games as gravy on top. We really feel like this fits well with the neighborhood. There aren't very many good options that are quick and easy," he said.
The restaurant will have plenty of competition on the busy strip, with casual diner fare up the street at Salt & Pepper Diner and nearby options like Roadhouse 66, Old Crow and Stretch.
The building will also go up as Wrigley Field construction continues. With the first phase complete, the next step in renovation plans include the plaza and razing the McDonald's at Clark and Addison for the Cubs' hotel.
Culver's began in 1984, when Craig and Lea Culver opened a restaurant in Sauk City, Wis. Descending from dairy farmers and cheesemakers, the Culvers focused on ButterBurgers (served on a lightly buttered, toasted bun) and fresh frozen custard.
Obviously, there are cheese curds, too.
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