BRONZEVILLE — Get ready for ButterBurgers, Bronzeville.
Culver's is opening its first locations in Chicago, and South Siders might be the first city dwellers to get their frozen custard and ButterBurger fix.
The Culver's Bronzeville location is scheduled to open near 35th Street and Martin Luther King Drive this winter, said Paul Pitas, a Culver's spokesman.
Baron R. Waller, who owns two other Culver's locations in suburban New Lenox and Lockport, with plans to open another in Joilet, will own the Bronzeville location.
Waller, a former Lake Meadows resident and Lane Tech College Prep alum, said he is shooting for a February 2017 opening.
"This is very important because this one will be the first one of Chicago. I lived in Lake Meadows," Waller said. "It was important to me to build in an area I'm familiar with. I wanted to take the opportunity to build one in a neighborhood that will sustain and be successful."
After years of having to get their Culver's fix in Wisconsin, Michigan or in the suburbs, there's a light at the end of the tunnel for Chicagoans.
In addition to the Bronzeville location, two other Culver's are planned in Chicago — one in Wrigleyville and another in Portage Park. But the Wrigleyville location has been delayed until 2017, giving Waller a shot at being the first to open in the city.
Previous attempts to build a Culver's on the South Side fell by the wayside.
Michael Wilbern, a former franchisee of the Wisconsin-based fast-food chain, sued them last year for discrimination after he claimed that Culver's tried to block him from opening locations in Calumet Heights and West Pullman. However, a jury ruled in favor of Culver's.
Waller said he is looking forward to being back in the neighborhood.
"I'm looking forward to being back in Bronzeville," Waller said. "I've already let the community groups know that I'm coming to the neighborhood."
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