LOCKPORT – The co-founder of Culver’s recalled his mother’s ability to make anyone who walked into the family restaurant feel like they were at home.
It was that kind of hospitality, along with signature meals, that has made the Wisconsin-based restaurant chain a success for roughly 30 years, Craig Culver told staff at the newly opened restaurant in Lockport on Monday.
“You have the power to literally change someone’s day when they walk through the doors for the better,” he said.
Culver, along with many city and community leaders, came out for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Lockport restaurant, which actually opened on June 16.
The Lockport location joins more than 500 other locations across 21 states. Lockport is also the 70th suburb in the Chicago area to have a Culver’s restaurant. More locations are planned for Evanston and Wrigleyville.
After encouraging the staff to serve with “smiles, pleases and thank yous,” Culver headed outside with them to officially cut the ribbon for the new location. Rain came down soon but it did not dampen the enthusiasm.
Lockport Mayor Steven Streit said residents were excited about the Wisconsin-based business opening a location in the city. He said when he visited the restaurant last week, it was packed.
“We all know in Lockport that it would be packed because we all know there’s a black hole here that’s just craving stuff like this,” he said.
The Culver’s in Lockport has not only been filling a desire for ButterBurgers but also jobs. Lockport Fourth Ward Alderman Robert Perretta said the Lockport store has created 50 jobs alone.
“I find that very impressive,” he said.
Streit noted the restaurant’s strong connection with communities in other areas. Baron Waller, owner of the Lockport Culver’s, said he would make contact with local schools, churches and charities. The focus of the restaurant is family, a tradition the Lockport location will continue, Waller said.
“We have a whole lot of family working together,” he said.