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.
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