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Chicago's First Culver's Opens In Bronzeville

Chicago's First Culver's opens in Bronzeville
Draper and Kramer President/CEO Forrest Bailey, Powers & Sons Construction Director of Business Development Kelly Powers Baria, Culver's President and CEO Joe Koss, Alderman Sophia King (4th), Culver's franchise owner Baron Waller with his wife, Janeen, brother Byron and nephew and business partner Bryon Waller; Urban Partnership Bank Senior Business Banker Marcia Nicholson, Draper and Kramer Vice President Gordon Ziegenhagen and Culver's co-founder Craig Culver

Chicago's first Culver's franchise opened Tuesday at Lake Meadows Market in Bronzeville, with a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Craig Culver, co-founder of the popular chain known for its butterburgers and fried cheese curds.

The franchise owner, Baron Waller, owns Culver's locations in Joliet, New Lenox and Lockport. The Bronzeville Culver's will add 65 jobs to the community.

Culver's is the latest addition to Draper and Kramer's Lake Meadows Market, which the firm has been redeveloping for the past three years. The developer worked with Urban Partnership Bank to finance the first two phases of the development at Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and 35th Street. The first phase added a 40K SF LA Fitness and renovated existing retail space. The second phase will include facade upgrades and an additional 12K SF of retail.

While Bronzeville has the distinction of being the first Chicago neighborhood with a Culver's, it will not be the last. Another Culver's franchise is opening Jan. 29 at 4939 West Irving Park Road in Portage Park.