Thursday, July 9, 2015

Popular Midwest Chain Culver's Plans Expansion in Georgia

New to market fast casual operator coming to Dawsonville.  

Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin-based Culver's plans to open their first Georgia store in Dawsonville.  The new freestanding restaurant would be built on a vacant approximately 1.4 acre parcel adjacent to an existing Captain D's on South 400 Center Lane near its intersection with Dawson County Industrial Park Road.  The site sits just off Georgia 400, slightly north of the North Georgia Premium Outlets.  

The proposed location  is what the company calls a "Metro-L 2015"  unit.  The prototype first debuted in 2009 and gets slight tweaks annually, according to a company representative.  The Dawsonville restaurant will be about 4,200 square feet and have seating for 108 patrons.  

Culver's was started in Wisconsin in 1984 by Craig and Lea Culver, along with Craig’s parents George and Ruth. Similar to Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, Culver's is still owned by its founding family.   The first Culver’s opened in the family’s hometown of Sauk City, Wisconsin with today over 540 locations, largely in the midwest.  The company does have a few locations scattered around Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina but the Dawsonville location will be the first in Georgia. 

Culver's is most well-known for their frozen custard and signature ButterBurgers. A ButterBurger is best described as having had butter applied to the "crown" of the bun to enhance the taste.   Culver's owns the trademark on "ButterBurgers," which is likely the reason Buckhead's Big Al's Butter Burgers tweaked their name to "Big Al's Butter Made Burgers." 

Culver's menu also includes a variety of sides such as Wisconsin cheese curds, onion rings and cole slaw, as well as assorted salads and soups.  A friend also raved about the restaurant's chicken tenders, which come four to an order or as a filet in a sandwich.  For health-conscious diners, Carver's even offers gluten free buns from Udi's.

I spoke to Tom Goldsmith, Director of Development for Culver's, who said pending permitting, the Dawsonville location should begin construction later this year and open early next year.  Goldsmith indicated that the chain has franchise partners looking to open as many as six locations next year with at least three already "in the works." According to Goldsmith each currently planned Georgia location will be owned & operated by separate franchisees.  

Goldsmith would not comment on specific cities, but did say that there are no current plans for any units within the city of Atlanta.  I'd suspect areas such as Canton, Carrollton, Acworth, McDonough, Woodstock and Athens, among others, could be potential locations for the chain.  

Wichita, Kansas-based Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, a similar concept, operates two locations in Georgia: one in Athens, another in McDonough.  

Have you been to a Culver's?   If so, what are your thoughts? Where would you like to see the next Culver's open?

Please share your thoughts below   

19 comments:

Mark said...

I love Culver's! I discovered them during travels in WI years ago. When I take my summer road trip through the midwest, I've noticed more locations in recent years and had thought the closest to me to be in Branson, MO. Part of me would like one closer to Atlanta than Dawsonville, but my diabetic toes are happier with it being at a distance so I won't eat there so often. Their fried curds are delicious. Everything else I've tried has also been good, certainly better than most of the fast food I've experienced in recent years.

beth said...

Three words: Fried. Cheese. Curds. OMG!

Anonymous said...

I don't care how delicious they are, I'm not driving all the way up to Dawsonville.

BK said...

I second Beth's comment about the curds! I'm a 'sconi native and grew up with Culver's. Dawsonville is a hike for me, but I wouldn't mind seeing one in Cobb

Anonymous said...

Always love stopping at Culvers. They're in metro Nashville, Charlotte and Greenville. They have great burgers, custard and of course the fried cheese curds. I think they'd do very well in metro Atlanta and am surprised they haven't opened any stores here yet. Put one near the new Braves stadium.

GaDoll said...

You're missing out if you don't come to Stockbridge right off I-75....we will support you! There are great opportunities on exit 222 and Jodeco Rd......this area is about to explode!

Anonymous said...

We need your establishment on the east side of McDonough, GA
. We don't have any upscale hamburger places and we need one badly

Anonymous said...

Hope they don't call their soft drinks "pop".

Anonymous said...

Snellville Scenic Highway 124 is exploding with new national retailers and resturants. Love Berens but it is not in a convenient location. Really miss Sheridans in Tucker. I am gaining weight just thinking of all the custard I would devour if they came to Snellville.

Anonymous said...

I'm a FL snowbird. There are several in The Naples, Ft Meyer area. It's the first place my grandchildren want to eat when they come to visit. Besides having variety in the menu items, they have the best custard around. They have a different flavor of the day everyday and you can build your own sundae. Just a great, inexpensive place.

Anonymous said...

As Atlanta and the rest of this nation will soon learn restaurants & retailers looking for success need look no further than Henry County & Atlanta's New South where a goldmine awaits their arrival! Henry County is underserved with 210,000 residents with money to spend driving long distances to shop & eat. Many of our residents say time after time they are tired of having to drive north for restaurants, upscale merchandise, fine Dining & top shelf services. When affluent customers are asking for your services business should be lined up to come to Henry County & as you see they finally are! Culver's would make an excellent addition to the already growing stable of upscale and fine dining establishments in Henry County. Just recently Denny's and Bojangle's opened in Henry County and they are making money hand over fist due to the enormous demand of luxury items in Henry county. The biggest underestimation of Henry County is it's draw is far greater than 3-5 miles as shopper south of Macon & north to the city of Atlanta frequent Henry County! Henry County is indeed the place to be for new business success!

Grant Goggans said...

Give that intern at the Henry County Development Authority some credit. I sure wasn't expecting that cut-n-pasting of theirs' in a story about Dawsonville.

Katieanne said...

I'm was born a raised in Wisconsin and lived there most of my life and now I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I love Culvers, are there any plan to come to Chattanooga?

Katieanne said...

I grew up in Wisconsin and we love Culvers Custard, and now we live in Chattanooga, TN. with no Culvers or any frozen Custard place. Will Culvers being coming to Chattanooga, TN.?

JW said...

The person from Henry County identifies Culver's, Denny's and Bojangles as "upscale and fine dining establishments" for "affluent customers." LOL!!!

Anonymous said...

I sure hope the Georgia locations have the breaded tenderloin sandwiches like up north. They are fantastic and you can't get a breaded tenderloins here in the south like theirs!

Kent Hogeland said...

I'm a WI native and just found out about the Culvers opening in Dawsonville, GA...to say I'm stoked is an understatement. Have been a butterburger lover for many a year...and even my last home away from WI (the KC Metro) had Culver's, so I didn't have to yearn for the butterburger goodness. However, with my recent relocation to north Atlanta, I am missing them something awful. I would LOVE to see a Culvers opened in the Roswell area!!!

This is just a hint...:D

Anonymous said...

I wasn't really impressed, just another place where you spend around $10.00 for 1 person. I like Hardee's prices and the food is as good. I wish "Whataburger" would come ope 24 hours like the McDonalds in Dawsonville but much better food and variety. Most places are so expensive nowadays servings keep getting smaller as the prices keep going up.

Anonymous said...

I love Culvers. It's wonderful that they are coming to Georgia. I hope they open one in Columbus. It's bound to do well as it's a large city with multiple colleges.