LOCAL RESTAURANT NEWS: Culver’s confirms plans for Vandalia location, and more may be on the way

The Culver’s restaurant chain, which operates locations in Troy and Monroe, has submitted plans for a new restaurant in Vandalia, and a franchisee says more Dayton-area locations may be on the way.

David Potts, a Miami County native who launched the Culver’s restaurant in Troy in 2004 and added a Sidney location in 2007, confirmed to this news outlet this morning, Thursday April 23, that he has reached agreement on the purchase of land behind Ruby Tuesday at Miller Lane and Benchwood Road and has submitted a proposed site plan to Vandalia city officials to build a Culver’s restaurant at that location.

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It would be the closest Culver’s to Dayton for the Wisconsin-based Culver’s restaurant chain, known for its ButterBurgers and Fresh Frozen Custard. The chain operates more than 700 restaurants in 25 states, and has a significant presence in Indiana.

“I am excited about the possibility of our third Culver’s location being in Vandalia,” Potts told Vandalia city officials in an email on March 10.

Of course, that was five days before Gov. Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton ordered all restaurants in Ohio to shut down their dining rooms.

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Potts is undeterred. “I’m an optimistic person,” he said.

And he has reason to be. Potts said over the past month, as the pandemic took full hold, business at his Troy restaurant reached levels similar to what it was enjoying prior to the forced shutdown of dine-in services, thanks for a very busy drive-through window. His son Derek Potts oversees operations at the Troy and Sidney locations.

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

But the coronavirus pandemic will affect the timing of the Vandalia project. Potts said he had originally envisioned breaking ground in August and perhaps opening as soon as October of this year. Now, he believes the opening will be pushed back to 2021.

Potts has looked at sites in Kettering and near Wright State University for possible expansion. And he said he is talking with potential franchise partners to add more Dayton-area locations.

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The new Vandalia restaurant will employ between 90 and 100 people, Potts said.

“We are labor-intensive,” he said. “Customers order at a counter, but our employees bring the food to your table. In the drive-through, we will often run food out to the cars.”

Culver’s was founded on July 18, 1984, in Sauk City, Wisconsin by co-founder Craig Culver and his family. There are six company-owned restaurants with the rest owned and operated by independent franchisees.

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