BY JENNIFER BAILEY
A rumor swirling for a long time finally became reality this week.
Culver’s will be the latest addition along the North Vermilion Street corridor.
Owners Gary Satterlee and his son-in-law Troy Vodacek closed on the sale of property of the former Fazoli’s restaurant, 3210 N. Vermilion St., this week.
The store is expected to open on Sept. 15 and will employ about 60 full- and part-time employees.
Satterlee and Vodacek own the two Culver’s restaurants in Champaign.
“We just think it’s a good market,” Satterlee said about Danville. “The stores in Champaign are doing really good.”
Satterlee said Danville is growing, and “Buffalo Wild Wings does really well over there.” He said all of their surveys about Danville “just shows it’s a good area.”
Satterlee added that for years now, a lot of Danville customers at the Champaign restaurants — about eight to nine people a day he estimates sometimes — continue to ask when Culver’s is coming to Danville.
He and Vodacek have been looking at Danville for years to open a store.
Satterlee said another possible site they originally looked at was the former Hardee’s restaurant on South Gilbert Street. That site now houses El Toro.
“There’s been a lot of thought …,” he said about a location here.
Satterlee has been in the restaurant franchising business for 45 years. Satterlee’s daughter and wife also are involved in the business. He previously was involved with Burger Chef and Hardee’s.
The Culver’s on North Vermilion Street is about 200 square feet smaller than the Marketview Drive Culver’s in Champaign.
The size difference will be in the kitchen, but Satterlee said the store is probably about the same size as the others because the freezer/cooler is built in.
“We’re using all local people,” Satterlee said about construction contractors to renovate the building. Equipment from the former Fazoli’s was removed Wednesday.
The restaurant will seat 106 customers.
Standard restaurant hours are 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. The restaurant also has a drive-through window.
Satterlee said Culver’s — and its custard and ButterBurger hamburgers —is a lot more well know locally than it was 12 years ago when it came to Champaign.
“We’re all about great food. We just use the freshest ingredients …” he said.
Culver’s has grown from one restaurant in Sauk City, Wis., in 1984, to more than 450 family-owned/operated franchises across about 20 states.
Mayor Scott Eisenhauer welcomes the restaurant to the city, saying that it will be another asset.