LOCAL RESTAURANT NEWS: Culver’s confirms purchase of former Ruby Tuesday, to start construction this spring

Culver’s — which operates restaurants in the northern Miami Valley in Sidney and in Troy as well as four locations south of Dayton in the Hamilton-Mason area — plans to start construction as early as this spring on its first Montgomery County location after purchasing a former Ruby Tuesday restaurant as part of the expanding project.

David Potts, a Miami County native who launched the Culver’s restaurant in Troy in 2004 and added the Sidney location in 2007, confirmed to this news outlet this week that his partnership has closed on its purchase of the former Ruby Tuesday at 6425 Miller Lane. In April 2020, Potts had announced he had reached agreement to buy a tract of land behind that Ruby Tuesday location and informed Vandalia city officials of his intent to build a Culver’s restaurant at that location. At that time, the Ruby Tuesday was still operating, but it shut its doors permanently in June 2020, and its space will now be part of the Culver’s project.

The Miller Lane Culver’s will be the closest to Dayton for the Wisconsin-based 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.

“We expect to complete our drawings and bid documents by the end of January and hopefully start building in March or April, pending the city review” and the permit process, Potts said.

The new Culver’s could be open as early as late summer. Potts said he is “hoping we are on the downside of the COVID crisis” by then.

The new Vandalia restaurant will employ between 90 and 100 people. “We are labor-intensive,” Potts said earlier this year. “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.”

Mark Myers, the operating partner for the new restaurant, recently completed 12 weeks of training at the home office of Culver’s franchising operations in Sauk City, Wisconsin, and will be assisting a new Culver’s opening next month in Florida before returning to Ohio to launch the Vandalia restaurant, Potts said.

“We look forward to the challenges and rewards of opening this third Dayton-area location,” Potts said.

Culver’s Dayton-area expansion may not stop with Vandalia. Potts said earlier this year that he has looked at sites in Kettering and near Wright State University for possible expansion and has talked with potential franchise partners to add more Dayton-area locations.

Culver’s was founded in 1984 in Sauk City, Wisconsin by co-founder Craig Culver and his family. All but six Culver’s restaurants are owned and operated by independent franchisees.

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