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Culver's To Open Near Midway Airport

By Ed Komenda | January 11, 2017 11:24am | Updated on January 13, 2017 11:17am
 Culver's is coming to Chicago.
Culver's is coming to Chicago.
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Facebook / Culver's

MIDWAY — Get ready, burger fanatics: Culver's is coming.

The Wisconsin-based franchise known for its frozen custard and ButterBurgers is opening its first locations in Chicago, and one is planned for a plot of land near Midway International Airport .

The city's Department of Planning this week approved the franchise to open a 4,000-square-foot restaurant at 6411 S. Cicero Ave.

The restaurant is expected to open in early 2018, according to owner Guy Hollis, who runs six other Culver's restaurants in Illinois: Bridgeview, Lyons, Berwyn, Evergreen Park, Franklin Park and Oak Lawn.

"Our goal is to give Culver's an opportunity to be in the city," said Hollis, 61, of Marquette Park. "We're going to create jobs, and we're going to have a great burger."

The restaurant would serve as relief for Chicagoans who spent years traveling to Wisconsin, Michigan or the suburbs for their Culver's fix.

Three other Culver's are planned in Chicago — one in Bronzeville, one in Wrigleyville and another in Portage Park.

The Culver's Bronzeville location is expected to open near 35th Street and Martin Luther King Drive in February.

Previous attempts to build a Culver's on the South Side fell by the wayside.

Michael Wilbern, a former franchisee of the fast-food chain, sued Culver's in 2015 for discrimination after he claimed that Culver's tried to block him from opening locations in Calumet Heights and West Pullman. But a jury ruled in favor of Culver's.

Culver's joins a number of new developments that have sprouted along Cicero Avenue in the past year. Panda Express recently bought a 16,000-square-foot lot at 6501 S. Cicero Ave., a property adjacent to the forthcoming Vib, a 74-room Best Western boutique hotel at 6501 S. Cicero Ave. Lou Malnati's recently broke ground on 5,000-square-foot restaurant slated to open in the spring on a former used car lot at 6456 S. Cicero Ave.

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